By Elena Teslova
MOSCOW (AA) - The Russian Defense Ministry said it sent a plane with medical aid to the U.S. on Wednesday.
"A Russian Air Force plane with medical masks and medical equipment on board departed for the United States," the ministry said in a statement.
The move came after a phone talk between the leaders of the two countries on Monday, when Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump expressed serious concern over the scale of the spread of the coronavirus across the world.
Following the presidential conversation, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Russia offered to the U.S. help with medical and protective equipment because the epidemiological situation in the U.S. is particularly severe, as the country currently holds the first place with the highest number of coronavirus cases worldwide.
Later, Trump thanked Moscow for the help at a daily briefing at the White House.
Meanwhile, the fears rise that Putin has been infected with the virus, as a chief physician of a hospital for the coronavirus patients, with whom the Russian president met last week, was tested positive for COVID-19.
Today the Russian leader held a virtual meeting with the government members on Wednesday, saying "the situation demands remote work".
The number of coronavirus cases in Russia rose to 2,777 on Wednesday, while the infection claimed 24 lives so far.
To stem the spread of the infection, Russia imposed lockdowns on several regions, including the capital Moscow and the second-largest city St. Petersburg, with more regions being added every day. Residents in locked-down areas are allowed to leave homes only for buying groceries, walking pets and disposing of home waste.
Also, Russia has banned the entry of foreign nationals and suspended international air traffic.
After first appearing in Wuhan, China, in December, the virus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to at least 180 countries and regions, indicates the Johns Hopkins University database.
The data shows the confirmed number of cases worldwide has surpassed 885,600, with the death toll over 44,100, and more than 185,300 recoveries.