China sends medical aid to Spain and Italy

MADRID (Reuters) - A consignment of medical supplies sent by China to help Italy and Spain contain the coronavirus has arrived in Europe, the Chinese embassy in Madrid said on Thursday.

The shipment includes 1.8 million masks, it said in a Tweet.

Earlier, a Spanish government source told Reuters that China, the first country to suffer from the epidemic, had offered to help Spain in its efforts to tackle the growing coronavirus outbreak. The assistance would include medical equipment.

The embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the shipment.

Spain has stepped up its response to the outbreak in recent days, closing schools and suspending parliament after a minister tested positive.

Reporting by Belen Carreno; Additional reporting by Clara-Laeila Laudette; Writing by Nathan Allen; Editing by Andrei Khalip and Giles Elgood