Russian military virologists and epidemiologists will be first deployed to Italy’s Bergamo, the Russian Defense Ministry informed reporters.
"On the outcomes of the consultations, it was decided that Russian military experts experienced in combating epidemics caused by dangerous infectious diseases all over the world would begin their work from Italy’s Bergamo. Currently, military officers are approving the 600-km route, preparing the equipment for the move," the ministry noted.
Bergamo, a city in northern Italy (the province of Lombardy) is one of the epicenters of the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy with a record number of infections and deaths in the country, TASS reports.
Under the order of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Russian Defense Ministry sent several military jets to Italy that transported virologists, epidemiologists and the necessary equipment to the country. According to the ministry, the group includes specialists who directly took part in fighting outbreaks of African swine fever, as well as developing vaccines against Ebola and the plague. The planes also delivered mobile stations for aerosol disinfection of transport and territories and medical equipment.
A pneumonia outbreak caused by the COVID-19 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV) was reported in China’s city of Wuhan, a large trade and industrial center with a population of 11 million, in late December 2019. Cases of the new coronavirus have also been reported in more than 190 countries and territories, among them Russia, which documented 495 cases as of March 24. According to recent data, novel coronavirus cases across the globe have exceeded 390,000, with about 17,000 deaths. The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially described the situation with the novel coronavirus as a pandemic.