Over 390 Russian nationals are on board of an aircraft, which took off from New York to Moscow late on Sunday, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov told journalists.
"Indeed, a plane just departed [from New York] carrying back home 394 people, including 17 babies," Antonov said.
The high-ranking Russian diplomat also said that among the passengers on board of the aircraft that heads to Moscow are 72 people, who asked to be returned home due to emergency issues as they had been in the United States for purposes of a medical treatment, rehabilitation or had been diagnosed with various physical disabilities.
Antonov also said that Russian diplomats in the United States had already started arranging for another repatriation flight of Russian nationals from New York on July 5 amid the ongoing global spread of the novel coronavirus, TASS reports.
According to the Johns Hopkins University, which relies on the data of international organizations, federal and local authorities, an overall number of people, who have died across the world after contracting COVID-19, exceeded the figure of 500,100.
The US-based research university reports that as of today the highest number of fatalities caused by the novel coronavirus was registered in the United States (over 125,760 deaths). Brazil comes 2nd with over 57,000 reported COVID-19 fatalities and the United Kingdom is 3rd place with over 43,630 deaths.
In late December 2019, Chinese officials 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. According to the latest statistics, over 10,243,800 people have been infected worldwide and more than 504,410 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 5,553,490 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.