The Russian Defence Ministry 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. Putin spoke to Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Saturday, 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. The Russian Defence Ministry said military transport will deliver to the Italian air force base Praktik de Mare (30 kilometers southwest of Rome, Italy) groups of military doctors, specialists in the sphere of virology and epidemiology with modern equipment for the diagnosis and conduct of disinfection measures.
The Russian Aerospace Forces completed the creation of the aviation grouping to deliver the forces and equipment of Russian Federation allocated to assist Italy in the fight against coronavirus. At the Chkalovsky airfield in the Moscow region, 9 Il-76 aircraft of the Russian military transport aviation are concentrated, which over the last night, along with trained crews, were quickly transferred from the Pskov, Ulyanovsk and Orenburg regions. Eight medical and nursing teams, equipped with the necessary medical equipment are ready to be transferred to Italy. The group of about 100 people included the leading specialists of the Russian Ministry of Defence in the sphere of virology and epidemiology, who have significant international experience in combating epidemics.
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. Russia itself has reported 306 cases of the virus, most of them in Moscow, and one coronavirus-related death. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).The disease was first identified in 2019 in Wuhan, Central China, and has since spread globally, resulting in the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic. Common symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Muscle pain, sputum production and sore throat are less common. As of 20 March 2020, the rate of deaths per number of diagnosed cases is 4.1%; however, it ranges from 0.2% to 15% depending on age and other health problems.