MOSCOW, April 24. /TASS/. Local governments of the Italian provinces of Apulia and Friuli-Venezia Giulia have addressed Russia with the request for aid in the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic, Russian Ambassador to Italy Sergei Razov said during a video link from Rome on Friday.
"Heads of Italian regions are addressing us with official requests to send our military officers [to carry out disinfection — TASS]. Such requests came from the governors of Piedmont, Apulia and Friuli-Venezia Giulia," he said.
Razov stressed that Russian aid is not political.
Earlier, TASS informed that the region of Piedmont had addressed the Russian military with a request for aid.
Under the order of Russian President Vladimir Putin, on March 22-25, the Russian Defense Ministry sent 15 military jets to Italy that transported virologists, epidemiologists and the necessary equipment to the country. According to the ministry, the group includes specialists who directly took part in fighting outbreaks of African swine fever, as well as developing vaccines against Ebola and the plague. The planes also delivered mobile stations for aerosol disinfection of transport and territories and medical equipment.
Russian military experts have been stationed in the town of Bergamo (Lombardy), one of the epicenters of the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy with a record number of infections and deaths in the country.
In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus — named COVID-19 by the WHO — have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.
On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 2,700,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 191,000 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 750,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.