VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis has donated 30 respirators to hospitals in areas hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, the Vatican said on Thursday.

A statement from the office of the papal Almoner, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, did not say where they would be sent, or if any would go to countries beyond Italy.

In Italy, where the virus has killed more than 8,000, the epicenter of the outbreak is in the northern Lombardy region.

The death toll in Italy is well over double that seen in any other country. There are more than 80,000 infections in Italy.

(Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Alex Richardson)