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Eleventh Russian military plane carrying experts, medical equipment arrives in Italy

Three more planes are on their way

PRATICA DI MARE/ Italy/, March 23. /TASS/. The eleventh Ilyushin Il-76 military transport aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces carrying experts and medical equipment has arrived in Italy to help it cope with the novel coronavirus epidemic, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday.

According to the ministry, the aircraft carrying Russian military specialists and diagnostics and disinfecting equipment landed at the Italian airbase Pratica di Mare 30 kilometers southwest of Rome, Italy. Three more planes are on their way to Italy.

The ministry said that efforts continue to deliver military medical experts and equipment to Italy in a bid to assist the country in combating the coronavirus.

In a telephone conversation with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed Russia's readiness to offer urgent assistance to Italy to help it cope with the novel coronavirus infection. On the same day, the Russian defense ministry said it would set up an air taskforce of nine Il-76 planes.

Earlier on Monday, the ministry reported that eight mobile brigades of medics and about 100 military virologists and epidemiologists, equipment for disinfecting transport vehicles and territories, as well as medical equipment had been delivered to Italy.