Russia’s Federation Council held an emergency meeting on March 31 to approve a new law that will allow the country’s executive cabinet to declare states of high alert and states of emergency.
The bill passed all of its required three votes in the State Duma earlier the same day. It will now take effect after receiving President Vladimir Putin’s signature.
Previously, only a commission reporting to the cabinet and led by the Emergencies Minister could declare a state of high alert or a state of emergency in Russia. Now, the cabinet, led by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, will be able to make that decision on its own.
The Russian government is currently operating in a state of high alert. The country has reported 2,337 COVID-19 cases and 17 deaths due to the new coronavirus.