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Moscow issues around 1 million digital passes in first day of system operation

The mayor clarified that only citizens using cars or public transport need these passes starting April 15

NOVO-OGARYOVO, April 13. /TASS/. Almost 1 million digital passes to drive around have been issued in Moscow on the first day of the pass issuance system operation as part of newly announced measures to tighten lockdown in the city and curb the spread of coronavirus, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin told a meeting focusing on the current epidemiological developments in the country on Monday.

"We introduced the pass system that will start working on Wednesday. To this end, we introduced the electronic pass system. Working with passes is difficult, we’ve been hit by unprecedented attacks. In spite of the difficulties, 900,000 passes were issued, almost one million, this is an enormous amount," the mayor said.

He clarified that only citizens using cars or public transport need these passes starting April 15.

"Today, we launched an [Internet] portal, a call center, SMS receiving [service] and different channels to put your name down and receive electronic passes," Sobyanin commented.

Moscow’s digital passes

On April 11, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin signed a decree, introducing special digital passes to travel around Moscow and the Moscow Region using personal or public transport. This measure was imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus as much as possible.

There will be three types of electronic passes available. To travel to work, a pass valid until April 30 should be requested by those whose job responsibilities require them to physically be at their workplace and courier and delivery people. This pass will not restrict the number of trips.

The second category is the pass to visit hospitals and outpatient clinics to seek medical help. They can be issued for one day only but an unlimited number of passes can be requested in a week.

The third category is private trips to, for example, country houses, distant shops or train stations. They will be valid for one day and there will be a cap of two passes per week.

Coronavirus pandemic

In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus — named COVID-19 by the WHO — have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.

On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 1,800,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 114,000 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 428,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.

To date, a total of 18,328 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 1,470 patients having recovered from the virus. Russia’s latest data indicates 148 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.