MOSCOW, April 2 (RAPSI) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill to vest the Cabinet of Ministers with new powers to prevent and respond to emergencies, among them threats of mass diseases outbreaks, into law.

A package of amendments to the legislation has been developed in order to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic, an explanatory note to the document reads.

In particular, the Government seeks powers to put caps on wholesale and retail trade in certain medical products, as well as to introduce special procedures governing registration and turnover of medicines and medical products.

Yet another measure proposed in the bill is to empower the Government with the right to introduce high alert or emergency situation regimes across the whole territory of the Russian Federation, or a part thereof, as well as the right to set mandatory regulations in such situations.

The document is to regulate the issues pertaining to state and municipal procurement at the periods threat of mass diseases loom, for instance, to adjust terms of contracts between parties if those are affected by force majeure circumstances caused by the coronavirus infection outbreak.

The powers sought include introduction of moratoriums on bankruptcy cases and measures in support of Russian tourists; travel services are not to be provided without mandatory confirmation of their safety for lives and health of customers. So, in case the Federal Tourism Agency informs that certain countries are unsafe destinations, no sale of organized travel tours there are allowed, those having already paid are entitled for full compensation of relevant expenses, the explanatory note to the law reads.

The authors of the initiative believe that the new legislative provisions are to ensure public health and prevent the spreading of the coronavirus pandemic in Russia; support of businesses, and pave way for taking prompt measures aimed to optimize the operation of the executive authorities as concerns their regulatory and permitting activities.

The State Duma and the Federation Council approved the document on March 31. The law is to take effect from the date of its official legislation.