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Serbian president informs of Russian humanitarian aid deliveries to combat COVID-19

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that bilateral "friendship has been reaffirmed"

BELGRADE, April 2. /TASS/. Russia is delivering aid to Serbia to combat the novel coronavirus, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Thursday on the outcomes of the phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"A very good conversation with President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. Our friendship has been reaffirmed, and significant deliveries of aid are coming to Serbia. We thank Vladimir Putin and the Russian nation," Vucic wrote on Twitter.

The Serbian leader’s press service informed that Vucic had held phone calls with the Russian and French leaders on Thursday.

"President Putin has expressed solidarity, promising to provide significant aid and support to the Serbian government and Serbian citizens in the fight against the coronavirus, which will include Russian experts and medics being sent to disinfect facilities," the press service informed.

On March 26, Serbia’s Cabinet of Ministers asked Russia for help in the fight against the novel coronavirus. Belgrade has asked for aid in accordance with the existing agreement between the states on emergency humanitarian cooperation. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that Serbia’s request would not remain unanswered.

Serbia has closed its borders, having introduced a state of emergency and a curfew on the entire territory of the country. Parliamentary elections have been canceled, railway and bus transport links between cities have been suspended. People over the age of 65 are forbidden from leaving their homes.

The number of people infected with the novel coronavirus in Serbia has risen by 111 in the past 24 hours, reaching 1,171, with 31 reported deaths. Kosovo and Metohija reported 108 cases of infection and one death. The neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina has documented 410 cases of COVID-19, 12 deaths and 17 recoveries. Montenegro has reported 115 cases of infection and one death.

In late December 2019, Chinese authorities 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. To date, more than 938,000 people have been infected worldwide and over 47,000 deaths have been reported. That said, over 195,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.

So far, a total of 3,548 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 235 patients having recovered from the virus. The country’s latest data indicates 30 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.