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DECEMBER 2020

‘City Management Innovations’: Moscow Authorities Plan To Track Every Citizen’s Movement Via QR Code

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'City Management Innovations': Moscow Authorities Plan To Track Every Citizen's Movement Via QR Code

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On October 19th, it became clear that in Moscow, the system that utilizes QR codes to track the movements of the population could be extended to other establishments and not only nightlife establishments.

If its successful in the implementation, it would likely enter beauty salons, non-food stores, and restaurants.

This assumption was expressed by the head of the department of trade and services in Moscow Alexei Nemeryuk in an interview with Dmitry Levitsky, co-founder of the Profsoyuz bar association.

“If the [check-in] system works, it is quite possible that other industries will join it, the same beauty salons, non-food stores, for example, or restaurateurs,” Nemeryuk said in an interview posted on Levitsky’s Instagram page.

Nemeryuk also noted that the Moscow authorities began to talk with business about the possibility of introducing checkins, which, in his opinion, are “a kind of alternative to complete closure.”

Moreover, he called this system “humane, because, thanks to identification, people will be able to determine whether something threatens their lives or not,” and to begin treatment faster if suddenly they also become infected.

The QR code system began being implemented for visitors of night clubs on October 19th.

“The system [for identifying visitors to night bars] will start working on October 19 <…> In general, according to the mayor’s decree, various penalties are envisaged. Therefore, if someone does not comply, this will be carried out in relation to these organizations, including “, said Nemeryuk on October 15th.

Entertainment institutions in Moscow that work from 00:00 to 06:00 and do not use QR codes to organize the entrance of visitors after October 19, will be fined for violating anti-epidemic standards.

He clarified that fines for institutions for lack of QR codes at the entrance will amount to up to 500 thousand rubles, according to the current decree of the mayor of Moscow.

Essentially, back in the spring lockdown, people simply needed a permit to go outside the house for an errand, and they could, potentially, visit another place on the way.

With this new system introduced, people are free to do as they please (and spread COVID-19 in case they’re unaware they’re infected), but City Hall will be aware of everything they’re doing – entering a restaurant, getting a haircut, buying a hammer or a new table.

There appears to not be the slightest sliver of doubt that codes will soon be extended to all social transactions.

And the only consolation is that the usual implementation of such systems is accompanied by a massive lack of professionalism of those putting it in place.

The system will initially barely work, as it did with electronic passes and as happened with the electronic school, which collapsed on the very first day of the distance learning system for high school students.

It will, eventually, work at 100% and it will continue for a while if the situation can be presented as deteriorating.

This is an innovation introduced by Moscow a sort of ‘creative contribution to the world experience of city management’.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave some insight into why there’s been increased number of lethality due to COVID-19 in Russia over the past few weeks.

In Russia, the number of deaths from coronavirus infection is growing, but this is partly due to a more thorough fixation of the causes of death from the disease, Putin said at a meeting with board members of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP).

According to the head of state, he discussed this topic with experts on the morning of October 21st.

“Mortality in our country, unfortunately, has grown from covid compared to spring, but experts say that this is also due to the fact that they began to more carefully record the causes of death,” Putin said.

At the same time, “the overall mortality rate has fallen by almost half compared to the spring,” Putin said. According to him, “this is still the main indicator of the state of the health care system.”

Despite the increase in the incidence, no tough restrictions are planned yet, Putin said at the meeting. According to him, now doctors have already learned how to deal with the disease and medicines have appeared for this. At this stage, to fight the disease, it is necessary to focus on expanding testing, strengthening the health system, as well as adherence to preventive measures and vaccinations, the president said.

Apart from the Moscow ones, of course, but those are up to the local Moscow authorities who appear to be pushing forward an entirely different agenda.

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