MOSCOW, March 22 (Reuters) – The Russian military will start sending medical help to Italy from Sunday in order to help it battle the new coronavirus after receiving an order from President Vladimir Putin, Russia’s Defence Ministry said in a statement.
Putin spoke to Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Saturday, the Kremlin said, saying the Russian leader had offered his support and help in the form of mobile disinfection vehicles and specialists to help the worst hit Italian regions.
Italy recorded a jump in deaths from coronavirus of almost 800 on Saturday, taking the toll in the world’s hardest-hit country to almost 5,000.
The Russian Defence Ministry said military transport planes would deliver eight mobile brigades of military medics, special disinfection vehicles, and other medical equipment to Italy starting from Sunday.
Russia itself has reported 306 cases of the virus, most of them in Moscow, and one coronavirus-related death. (Reporting by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Christopher Cushing)