From Russia with love: 160 Russian doctors arrive in Italy to fight COVID-19
The Russian anti-coronavirus mission, led by a general, arrived in Lombardy, Italy. As well as a team of 52 doctors from Cuba.
The Russians arrive, in force, to fight the virus in Lombardy, the region most plagued by the invisible enemy with nine Ilyushin cargo planes, 160 doctors and specialists, vehicles and tons of material.
All the special Russian aircraft and vehicles carried the symbol of the mission: two hearts with the colors of the flag of the Russian Federation and of the Italian Republic and the phrase “from Russia with love”.
The intervention was agreed om between Italian Premier, Giuseppe Conte, and the Russian President, Vladimir Putin.
“It is a substantial help, which serves also the Russians need to study the virus and prepare for an emergency in their home,” said a military source.
The 76 Ilyushin departed from the Chkalovsky military base, near Moscow, one every hour, for Pratica di Mare Airport at the gates of Rome. Russian Aerospace Forces have mobilized eight mobile brigades of military doctors, special vehicles for disinfection and other medical equipment.
The photos of the Russian Defense Ministry show the columns of vehicles that embarked on the belly of the cargo planes followed by the doctors in camouflage.
The Russians are bringing 100 fans for intensive care, 200 thousand masks, 1000 protective suits, three vehicles for disinfection and above all equipment for the diagnostics of the virus infection – two machines that can process 100 swabs in a couple of hours, a thousand fast swabs (2 hours) and 100 thousand normal swabs.
The Italian Army and Air Force will provide housing, transportation, and fuel for the Russians. The expedition will be sent from Pratica di Mare on the Lombard front partly by helicopter along with the ground column.
The first job of the Russians will be in Sondalo (a municipality in the Italian region Lombardy). Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio welcomed the military medical expedition from Moscow upon arrival in Italy with words of gratitude to Mr. Putin.
The Italian Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini clarified the details of the operation with his Russian counterpart Serghei Shoigu: “Italy is not alone in this challenge. I want to thank also Russia for the help it is providing to our country in overcoming this emergency “.
The Cuban contribution
Thirty-seven Cuban doctors and 15 nurses also arrived in Lombardy transported by a special Alitalia flight from Havana to Milan Malpensa Airport.
The expert doctors, fresh from the fight against Ebola, will be employed in Crema (A Lombardy city).
And from March 26th some Alitalia Boeing cargo version from Shanghai will deliver to Rome 160 cubic meters of medical supplies including 3 million masks for each flight.