03:31 GMT04 April 2020
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    BEIJING (Sputnik) - China will provide humanitarian assistance to Italy and is ready to send a team of specialists to assist the Italian side in combating the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in a telephone conversation with his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio.

    "We will not forget the support Italy provided to China at a difficult time for us during the epidemic. Now we are also ready to stand firmly next to the Italian people. Despite the fact that China itself has a great need for medical supplies, we will overcome difficulties and will provide Italy with humanitarian aid in the form of medical masks and other necessary medical supplies", Wang said.

    "We will boost exports of necessary goods and equipment to Italy", he said.

    Wang said that if the Italian side needed, China was ready to send a group of medical experts to help combat the spread of the virus.

    More than 100,000 people have already been infected with COVID-19 in the world, the majority have recovered, and about 4,000 have died. The coronavirus outbreak was first registered in December 2019 in China's Wuhan. In Europe, the most coronavirus-affected country is Italy.

    Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte introduced earlier tough measures, including movement restriction due to an outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

    More than 9,100 COVID-19 cases have been registered in Italy; 724 people have already recovered, 463 have died.


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