The bill on QR codes will be removed from consideration by the State Duma.

The bill on QR codes will be removed from consideration by the State Duma.

Photo: Alexey BULATOV

From November 12 within the walls State Duma there are serious disputes and discussions of the draft law on visiting public places only upon presentation of certificates of vaccination or medical treatment. As soon as it was introduced by the representatives of the government, so it began. Some are for, some are against, some are sharply against, some are sharply for. The Communist Party of the Russian Federation held extensive public discussions and even submitted to the Government 200 kilograms of citizens’ appeals in this regard. President of the Chamber Viacheslav Volodin collected kilograms of citizens’ opinions in electronic form, opening comments on his Telegram channel. As a result, there were about 700,000 of them.

Deputy Prime Minister right before the new year Tatiana Golikova, accompanied by the head of Rospotrebnadzor Anna Popova and the Minister of Health Mihaila Murashko, were summoned to the Lower House “on the carpet” – to discuss the factions. And how much they did not convince the deputies that this is just the introduction of general standards for the whole country, because the regions are already at their own discretion when they want, then they introduce restrictions. That the number of cases is growing day by day, and only slightly more than 50% are vaccinated, that “health passports” have long been valid around the world – nothing helped. With a creak, the bill was passed only in the first reading. The date for the second has not even been set yet. And suddenly….

On the morning of January 14, statements were sent. Postponed.

– The bill on QR codes will be withdrawn from consideration. – Volodin posted on his social network. – The government of the Russian Federation and the United Russia party proposed to postpone the bill for revision. We will discuss this issue on Monday at the Council of the State Duma. I am sure the deputies will support this decision. The bill needs further elaboration.

Tatyana Golikova also made a statement.

– The government will make amendments. They were prepared taking into account the discussion of the bill with all factions of the State Duma, she said.

Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Tatyana Golikova at the plenary meeting of the State Duma of the Russian Federation on the draft law on the introduction of QR codes in public places.  Photo: Press Service of the State Duma of the Russian Federation / TASS

Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Tatyana Golikova at the plenary meeting of the State Duma of the Russian Federation on the draft law on the introduction of QR codes in public places. Photo: Press Service of the State Duma of the Russian Federation / TASS

The Deputy Prime Minister also explained what exactly will be changed in the original text of the document. The first is to allow people to visit public places with a negative PCR test. The second is to authorize the Ministry of Health to decide how long the medical treatment waiver from vaccination is valid. The third is to maintain a special certificate for military and other officials, which will meet the necessary requirements for protecting their data.

She also added that bills and response measures are not keeping pace with the development and spread of new strains.

– The bill, adopted in the first reading, was developed as a response to the spread of the delta strain. – She said sadly. – Now there will be new challenges (meaning the omicron, which is already marching around the country with might and main). Therefore, the government, together with the United Russia party, in conditions of high uncertainty in the development of the epidemiological situation, have worked out a joint decision on the advisability of postponing the consideration of the bill in the second reading.

That is, in fact, they brought in even greater uncertainty. Or wait for even greater tightening, because the omicron is much more contagious and spreads around the world at a terrible speed? Or will they cancel everything now, suddenly, by the time of the second reading, a new strain will appear? Not to rewrite the law every time?

The deputies are sure that there is no need to rush and fuss. Here is what the chairman of the State Duma Committee on Health Protection said Dmitry Khubezov:

– Today we are faced with the spread of a new strain of COVID-19 “omicron” and, in this regard, we must quickly develop effective measures to contain the spread of the infection. I would especially like to note that with all the need for a prompt response to emerging threats, haste is unacceptable here. We have no right to make a mistake – the lives and health of millions of Russians depend on thoughtful decisions!

And millions of Russians seem to be jubilant and overjoyed. “There will be no QR codes! There are no QR codes! ” Meanwhile, the number of cases in Russia has exceeded 23,000 people daily.

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