Russia said Sunday it had sent to Italy much-needed aid to help the country battle against the deadly coronavirus outbreak that killed over 5,400 people.

The Russian Defense Ministry said four military planes carrying virologists, epidemiologists, medical equipment and supply of pharmaceuticals were expected to land at the Pratica di Mare Air Base some 30 kilometers southwest of the capital Rome.

"The military transport aircraft of the Russian Air Forces will deliver to the republic 8 mobile teams of Russian military specialists-virologists and doctors, automobile complexes for aerosol disinfection of transport and territory, as well as medical equipment," the ministry said.

The virus, which emerged in Wuhan, China last December, has spread to at least 169 countries and regions around the globe, while the tally of confirmed cases has topped 328,000, and the death toll over 14,000, according to data compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

Death toll in Italy has reached over 5,470, making it the country with highest number of fatalities from the contagion, surpassing China.

Despite the rising number of cases, the vast majority of people contracting the virus suffer mild symptoms before making a recovery.

The number of people who recovered has topped 95,000 globally.