21:25 GMT31 May 2020
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    BERGAMO (Sputnik) - Russian military specialists, who arrived in the Italian city of Bergamo to fight the coronavirus outbreak, have begun to provide assistance to its residents, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Friday.

    "Russian military specialists who arrived in Bergamo began the implementation of tasks to assist the citizens of the Italian Republic. The Russian military carried out technical inspection and preparation of equipment, medical supplies and protective equipment, and also examined the area of ​​the future work. A laboratory for polymerase chain reaction analysis and facilities for servicing the equipment for disinfection were installed at the Italian Air Force base in the suburbs of Bergamo," the ministry said.

    Russian and Italian military experts have already sanitized a care home for elderly people in a suburb of Bergamo, it said.

    "A team of epidemiologists and specialists of chemical and biological defence troops of the Russian Defense Ministry, together with Italian military specialists, carried out a complete sanitary disinfection treatment of the Martino Zanchi care home for the elderly in a suburb of Bergamo. In total, 2,000 square meters [21,528 square feet] of internal premises and access roads were sanitized," the ministry said.

    It added that one more medical institution would be disinfected later in the day, and two other facilities will be checked.

    Following talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte earlier in March, the Russian military sent a total of 15 aircraft and dozens of specialists to Italy, along with disinfection and diagnostic equipment.

    Italy is fighting against a severe coronavirus outbreak. The total number of confirmed cases has exceeded 86,000. The number of fatalities exceeds 9,100 and is the highest national coronavirus-related death toll in the world so far. Lombardy accounts for more coronavirus infections and deaths than any other Italian region. The regional authorities report a lack of beds and equipment in hospitals. They build field hospitals and convert exhibition centres and other facilities into hospitals.

    Tags:
    pandemic, COVID-19, Italy, Russia
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