Kazakhstan deploys application to control access to public spaces


ALMATY, May 20 (Reuters) – Kazakhstan is rolling out an app that it hopes will limit the spread of COVID-19 by restricting people’s access to places such as bars, cinemas and airports based their vaccination status and risk of infection.

The Ashyq (Open) app assigns each user a red, yellow, green or blue status depending on whether they have been vaccinated or have been in contact with an infected person. Users must scan a QR code with the app before entering a public place.

The app has received mixed reactions – while some recognize its potential usefulness, many are frustrated with the long queues it sometimes causes.

The airport in Central Asia’s largest city, Almaty, will start using it from Friday after a few days of testing. The app is mandatory for cinemas and theaters, and its rollout allows restaurants and bars to stay open until 2 a.m. instead of closing at 10 p.m.

Those with red or yellow status, which is assigned to people currently infected with COVID-19 or who have been in contact with a positive case, will not be able to enter most areas.

Individuals with blue status are those who have no sign of contact with a suspected case and have almost complete access to the sites. Green status is assigned temporarily to those who have had a negative PCR test, or assigned permanently after vaccination.

Almost 2 million people in the former oil-rich Soviet republic of 19 million have so far received a first dose of the vaccine – mainly Sputnik V developed by Russia – and more than 800,000 have received the vaccine. two vaccines.

Reporting by Pavel Mikheyev Writing by Olzhas Asezov Editing by Alexandra Hudson

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