08:00 GMT23 September 2020
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    Earlier in the day, Russian military planes transported equipment and around 100 experts to Italy to provide the country with help amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

    A tenth Il-76 military plane has departed from Russia to Italy to assist in the fight against COVID-19, the Russian Defence Ministry said in a statement.

    The ministry said earlier in the day that Italy had held its first consultations on using the Russia-provided equipment for the fight against COVID-19 and on engaging Russian experts in the process.

    The statement comes after nine aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces brought nearly 100 experts with medical equipment to Italy to help the country abate the pandemic. Mobile units with equipment for disinfection and COVID-19 diagnostics have in a short period of time been delivered to the Italian Air Force's Pratica di Mare air base, located 18.6 miles southwest of Rome.

    Extending a Helping Hand: How Russia is Aiding Italy's Fight Against Raging COVID-19 Pandemic
    © Sputnik / The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation
    Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio met the Russian military specialists and virologists who arrived at the Pratica di Mare air base on Sunday night.

    On 21 March, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte discussed the COVID-19 pandemic during phone talks. Putin confirmed Russia's readiness to provide prompt assistance to Italy in the fight against the COVID-19 disease.

    According to Johns Hopkins University’s count, there are currently over 59,100 coronavirus cases registered in Italy and more than 5,470 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in the country.

    equipment, plane, coronavirus, COVID-19, Italy, Russia
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