14:51 GMT30 May 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The fifteenth aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces has taken off from a Moscow region airport, departing for Italy to help combat the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

    "The fifteenth Il-76 military transport aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces took off from the Chkalovsky airfield (Moscow region) to deliver special equipment and means to fight the coronavirus to the Italian Air Force's Pratica di Mare base (30 kilometers southwest of Rome, Italy)," the ministry said.

    It said that by agreement with the Italian side, the first area where Russian military experts would be involved would be the city of Bergamo (Lombardy, Italy).

    "At present, the Russian military, jointly with Italian colleagues, are preparing to move special military equipment to the designated area and agreeing traffic routes," the ministry said.

    According to official data made public on Tuesday evening by the head of Italy's civil defense service, Angelo Borrelli, over 69,000 confirmed cases of infection with the new type of coronavirus have been registered in the country, more than 8,000 patients have recovered, the death toll stands at 6,820.

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    Russian Defense Ministry, outbreak, assistance, COVID-19, coronavirus, aircraft, Russia, Italy
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