MOSCOW, April 3. /TASS/. The sixth Russia’s Ilyushin Il-76 military transport plane with equipment and military specialists has arrived in Serbia to help it cope with the novel coronavirus epidemic, the Russian defense ministry said on Friday.
"The sixth Il-76 military transport plane of the Russia aerospace forces has landed at Serbia’s Batajnica air base located 20 kilometers northwest of Belgrade," the ministry said.
Russia started to deliver aid to Serbia from April 3 on the instruction from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic held telephone talks with President Putin on April 2. The Kremlin press office reported after the talks that Russia would provide humanitarian assistance to Serbia and send doctors and disinfection specialists to the Balkan country.
In all, it is planned to send 11 planes that will deliver 87 military medics (eight nursing teams), virologists of the radiation, chemical and biological defense troops, special medical equipment, protective gear, and 16 units of military hardware.
As of 3:00pm local time (4:00pm Moscow time) on April 3, the number of coronavirus cases in Serbia grew to 1,476 while the virus death toll climbed to 39 people.
Serbia has fully closed its borders, declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew. The Serbian authorities have cancelled the parliamentary elections and halted the inter-urban bus and railway service. People aged above 65 are prohibited to leave their homes.
Earlier, Russia launched an operation to help Italy fight the coronavirus epidemic. In a period from March 22 to March 25, Russia sent 15 jets, transporting around 100 Russian military virologists and defense ministry specialists in epidemiology, eight nursing brigades, and equipment for diagnostics and disinfection.