US plane with 150 donated ventilators lands in Russia

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MOSCOW :A US military plane carrying 150 donated ventilators to help coronavirus patients landed in Moscow on Thursday in the second such delivery to Russia, the US embassy said.

The plane brought the number of US-manufactured ventilators sent by the United States to Russia to 200, after the first delivery arrived three weeks ago.

US ambassador John Sullivan was at Vnukovo airport to meet the plane along with a representative of the Moscow hospital that will distribute the ventilators.

The aid supplies, worth $5.6 million, are a “donation to the Russian people,” embassy spokeswoman Rebecca Ross tweeted, saying the ventilators are “the highest quality in the world”.

Russian Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov told Russian TV on Wednesday that “we value the American aid very highly”.

The move follows an embarrassing debacle over a shipment by Moscow of Russian ventilators along with other medical equipment to New York on April 1.

The ventilators were never used and are unlikely to be after the same model was implicated in two fires in Russian hospitals.

Five patients died in a Saint Petersburg hospital on May 12 and one died in a Moscow hospital on May 9 in fires that are suspected to have been caused by faulty ventilators.

Russia has the third-largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases after the US and Brazil at 441,108, while it has reported 5,384 deaths, significantly fewer than many other countries with major outbreaks.

Russia says the low proportion of deaths is due to mass testing and classing cause of death on the basis of autopsy, while critics accuse it of under-reporting virus deaths.

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