A cargo of 88,000 masks and other medical equipment collected by institutions, associations, companies and individuals left Vietnam to express solidarity with Italy and provide real help at this difficult time. This support is a further proof of the friendship between two countries where the memory of Carlo Urbani, the Italian epidemiologist of the World Health Organization who sacrificed his life in 2003 to prevent the spread of SARS in Vietnam, is still alive.'' We sincerely thank our Vietnamese friends for this meaningful gesture'' said the Italian Ambassador to Vietnam, Antonio Alessandro. At a time when our country is facing an unprecedented emergency - added the Ambassador - Vietnam confirms to be a strategic partner and demonstrates its closeness with concrete aid and a strong message of gratitude for the past and confidence in the future. The Vietnamese Minister of Public Security, To Lam, wrote an affectionate message to the Italian Minister of the Interior, Luciana Lamorgese, to accompany the material offered by his Ministry "Together with all the personnel and officers of the Ministry of Public Security - says the Vietnamese Minister - I would like to send our deepest feelings of closeness and sharing to the Italian Government and people for the difficulties and challenges you are facing". The cargo will arrive tonight in Milano Malpensa, from where it will be distributed in various parts of Italy in connection with the Civil Protection. In addition to the shipment, Vietnam also offered cash payments for some Italian health institutions.