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Italian General Staff thanks Russia for its assistance in anti-coronavirus efforts

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte had a telephone conversation on Saturday and agreed that Russia would help Italy cope with the novel coronavirus epidemic

MOSCOW, March 24. /TASS/. Italy expresses it gratitude to Russia for its help in the current difficult coronavirus situation, Luciano Portolano, Chief of Staff for Joint Operations in the Italian army, said on Tuesday.

"We are interested in involving various forces into the anti-virus efforts. We need help. And we are glad that the Russian Armed Forces are taking an active part in these efforts. I express gratitude to Russia from the people of Italy," he told the Rossiya-24 television channel.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who had a telephone conversation on Saturday, agreed that Russia would help Italy cope with the novel coronavirus infection epidemic.

From March 22 evening to March 23 night, eight mobile brigades of medics and about 100 military virologists and epidemiologists, equipment for disinfecting transport vehicles and territories, as well as medical equipment were delivered to Italy by fourteen Russian Il-76 military transport planes.

Nearly 64,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Italy since the epidemics outbreak. Over 6,000 patients have died and about 7,500 have recovered.