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Moscow entirely congested on first day of COVID-19 Digital Pass

In a very apparent backfiring of the introduced system, the entire city of Moscow was congested, with traffic jams and metro stations being full of people, waiting in line for their digital passes to be checked by authorities.

Moscow’s digital pass system, created to monitor and enforce residents’ movements around the city during its coronavirus lockdown, was first introduced on April 13th and became mandatory at midnight April 15th.

Those who haven’t got sick yet, will definitely get sick now.”

As the authorities explained, the system is supposedly declarative and everyone can get a pass, but they can also verify the accuracy of the information provided.

The pass for movement is a set of letters and numbers. The first four characters indicate the expiration date of the document, and the remaining 12 will identify its owner and the purpose of the trip.

Electronic passes are divided into three categories:

  • For trips to work or business trips – issued once valid through to April 30th;
  • For trips to medical institutions – issued for trips to a specific hospital, the number of such passes per week is not limited;
  • One-time for trips for personal purposes that do not violate the rules of the self-isolation regime – issued for one day no more than twice a week.

Due to the congestions, the Metro Stations administration was asked for a comment, to which they refused.

“We’re not able to comment on the actions of the police,” the Moscow metro’s press service said when asked about the large queues.

Mayor Sergei Sobyanin later said that the city will need to develop an ‘automated system’ for checking metro passengers’ passes.

Access control in Moscow is a necessary measure due to the fact that Muscovites and guests of the capital have not shown proper discipline, said the Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov.

“You know that at the moment the Moscow healthcare system has faced the greatest load, and, unfortunately, Muscovites and guests of the capital these days did not show proper discipline in respecting the self-isolation regime. And only this forced the Moscow authorities to introduce these passes.” Peskov told reporters.

The April 15 situation became a visual demonstration of the fact that the digital pass system introduced by Moscow authorities in fact does not work. Contrary, these actions of Sobyanin contributed to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Russia and derailed the recent weeks of the ‘self-isolation regime’ and sacrifices of the Russian economy. This behavior can be described as a criminal negligence.

Nevertheless, Sobyanin and his team continue to push this ‘digital pass system’ and further claiming that Moscow authorities will develop some AUTOMATED SYSTEM allowing access of people to the Moscow metro and other types of mass public transport in the mythic ‘nearest future’.