19:58 GMT31 May 2020
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    © Sputnik / The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation
    A Russian military expert in a protective suit near hospital facilities for elderly people to fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus infection in Bergamo, Italy

    Earlier this month, Italy overtook China, the birthplace of the deadly coronavirus, in the severity of the outbreak. While it still trails the US in terms of the total number of COVID-19 cases, the death toll in the southern European country is chilling.

    While the total number of coronavirus cases in Italy has surpassed 86,000, the country's northern provinces – especially Lombardy – have become the epicentre of the pandemic. The city of Bergamo in Lombardy has registered over 8,000 COVID-19 cases out of a total population of just 122,000 people.

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

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