Russian Lawmakers Back Jail Terms for Quarantine Offenders as Coronavirus Cases Rise

Russia coronavirus cases jump to 2,337 in record daily rise

Reuters
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Putin wearing protective gear visits a hospital where patients infected with the COVID-19 novel coronavirus are being treated in the settlement of Kommunarka in Moscow on March 24, 2020
Putin wearing protective gear visits a hospital where patients infected with the COVID-19 novel coronavirus are being treated in the settlement of Kommunarka in Moscow on March 24, 2020Credit: Photo by Alexey DRUZHININ / SPUTNIK / AFP
Reuters

Russian lawmakers approved legislation that would bring in jail sentences of up to seven years for people who flout quarantine rules as the number of coronavirus cases jumped by a record daily amount on Tuesday.

Russia's official tally rose to 2,337 coronavirus cases, a day after more than a dozen Russian regions ordered residents to stay at home. Moscow, the worst affected area, announced a partial lockdown on Sunday.

Seventeen people with the virus across Russia have died so far, authorities say.

Lawmakers in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, backed jail terms of up to seven years and fines of up to 2 million roubles ($25,500) for anyone flouting quarantine rules if their doing so led to people dying.

They also voted to hand the government powers to declare a national state of emergency over the coronavirus should it need to do so.

Both pieces of legislation must be backed by the upper house of parliament and signed into law by President Vladimir Putin before entering into force.

Some doctors have voiced scepticism about the accuracy of Russia's coronavirus figures given what they say has been the patchy nature and quality of testing, allegations that the authorities deny. 

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