Russian army to send medical aid to Italy after Putin phone call

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The Russian military will start sending medical help to Italy from Sunday to help the country battle against the coronavirus outbreak that has killed over 5,400 people.

The Russian Defense Ministry said four military planes carrying virologists, epidemiologists, medical equipment and a supply of pharmaceuticals were expected to land at the Pratica di Mare Air Base some 30 kilometres southwest of the capital Rome.

“The military transport aircraft of the Russian Air Forces will deliver to the republic 8 mobile teams of Russian military specialists-virologists and doctors, automobile complexes for aerosol disinfection of transport and territory, as well as medical equipment,” the ministry said in a statement.

The decision to help comes after Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, spoke to Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, on Saturday to offer his support and condolences.

“Giuseppe Conte expressed his sincere gratitude for the steps Russia is taking to support Italy at such a tough time for it,” the statement read.

The death toll from coronavirus in Italy has reached over 5470, making it the country with the highest number of fatalities from the contagion, surpassing China.

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