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Russia to help Italy stem coronavirus spread for humanitarian reasons

Russia has offered to help Italy in its efforts aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus as the situation is very severe there, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TASS on Saturday.

Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin phoned Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. The Kremlin press office said that the Russian president reassured him of Moscow’s readiness to promptly provide necessary help and informed about its practical parameters. In particular, supplies of means of protection and mobile vehicles mounted on Kamaz trucks for spraying disinfectants over transport and in the areas as well as medical and other equipment are to be delivered, while Russian specialists are to be dispatched to the country’s worst-hit regions for practical assistance.

“As you know, Italy is facing a totally severe epidemiological situation. When taking a decision to help the Italian Republic, Putin was primarily guided by humanitarian consideration,” Peskov said.

“At present, nearly all the nations are facing the serious threat of the coronavirus. Efforts and capabilities should be joined to defeat it,” the Russian presidential press secretary stressed. “Only together will the nations be able to control the spread of this virus,” he added.

According to the latest reports, the death toll from the novel coronavirus has jumped to 793 in Italy. The country reports 42,681 people infected with the deadly virus, up 4,871 compared to Friday, yet over 6,000 people have recovered from the deadly disease.

In late December 2019, a pneumonia outbreak caused by a novel coronavirus was reported in central China’s city of Wuhan, an economic and industrial megacity with a population of 12 million. After the coronavirus denoted as COVID-19 broke out of China’s Hubei province, it spread across China and then throughout the world, affecting more than 150 countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) characterized the outbreak as a pandemic. According to the latest reports, over 240,000 cases of patients infected with the new coronavirus have been confirmed up to now. The virus’ death toll has surged to over 10,000.

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