Seven Russian Ilyushin Il-76 military transport planes carrying medical supplies and experts to help Italy battle its devastating Covid-19 crisis have landed at the Italian Air Force base Pratica di Mare.
The aircraft brought medics and specialists in infectious diseases from Russia, as well as equipment necessary for diagnostics and disinfection.
The teams will immediately begin their work once the Italian side clarifies areas for deployment, the Russian Defense Ministry reported.
The emergency aid was received personally by Italian Chief of the Defense Staff General Enzo Vecciarelli, who thanked the Russian people for lending a helping hand.
”I would like to express my gratitude on behalf of the entire Italian people for Russian assistance at such a difficult moment…”
In total, Moscow prepared nine cargo planes with emergency aid. The deployment was ordered by President Vladimir Putin after a phone call with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Saturday.
The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak plaguing Italy reached 5,476 on Sunday, with a chilling 651 more casualties, while the total number of diagnosed cases is nearing 60,000, according to the latest figures from health authorities.