MOSCOW, March 25. /TASS/. Italian Ambassador Pasquale Terracciano thanked Russia for its assistance in the fight against novel coronavirus, adding that the humanitarian aid to his country included about 600 medical ventilators.
"It is very important that all this medical equipment includes 600 ventilators, which are critically important at this stage of the epidemic," the ambassador said in his address to compatriots in Russia, posted on the Italian diplomatic mission’s website.
He also called upon Italians in Russia to observe sanitary guidelines and legislation.
Terracciano said that Italian citizens willing to leave Russia can do so by a Moscow-Rome daily regular flight.
"Those who plan to stay in Russia and whose visas are expiring <…> have an opportunity to extend their stay by filing a written request to a local office of the Russian Interior Ministry," he added.
On Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin phoned Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. According to the Kremlin press service, the Russian president reaffirmed Moscow's willingness to promptly provide the necessary assistance to Italy. Later in the day, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported that an air grouping consisting of nine Il-76 aircraft would be formed at Chkalovsky Airport in the Moscow Region. By now, Russia has sent 15 aircraft to deliver specialists and equipment.
On Monday morning, the Defense Ministry said that Russian aircraft had transported to Italy about 100 military virologists and epidemiologists, along with eight medical teams, to fight the coronavirus pandemic.