#Top Story : Russian Aircraft Carrying Medical Equipment Heads for US - Russian Defence Ministry -LATE UPDATE

A Russian Antonov An-124-100 Ruslan military heavy transport aircraft with medical masks and equipment has departed for the United States amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Russian Defence Ministry said Wednesday.

Earlier, a senior US administration official said the United States was expecting Russia to deliver a planeload of personal protection equipment and medical supplies amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The United States has been topping the global
COVID-19 tally, with a total of 188,547 citizens infected and at least 3,873 fatalities, according to the live-map by Johns Hopkins University. It also reported that the US has registered a grim record of deaths from the virus in a single day with 865 fatalities.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on 11 March declared an outbreak of the new coronavirus infection a pandemic.


Russian Covid-19 aid plane to US: Putin asked Trump if he needed help & he accepted, Kremlin spokesman says.

The issue of protective gear was raised during the Monday phone talks, with Putin asking if the US needed help and Trump accepting, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry

Peskov told reporters on Tuesday.

Moscow suggested the aid in anticipation that the US will be able to return the favor if necessary, once its manufacturers of medical and protective equipment catch up with demand, Peskov said.

The current situation “affects everyone without exception and is of a global nature,” he added.

There is no alternative to acting together in the spirit of partnership and mutual assistance.

On Monday, Trump told reporters at the White House press briefing that “Russia sent us a very, very large planeload of things, medical equipment, which was very nice.”

The comment left everyone scratching their heads, as no one in the US seemed to know anything about the plane in question. It appears the US president was referring to the aid arranged on the phone call as something that had already happened.

Peskov chastised “some of the American side” who “at least did not contribute to the prompt resolution of technical issues” regarding the agreed-upon delivery, which could explain the delay.

Official data shows the US has been among the nations hardest-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, with almost 175,000 confirmed cases and 3,416 deaths as of Tuesday afternoon – overtaking China, where the contagion originated in December. Italy still has the highest death toll in the world, at 12,428.