“Our priority at the moment is to bring health workers back to work,” said Dr Julio Mayol, the facility’s medical director.

Still, there are fears for a new outbreak as Spanish authorities begin talking about loosening the grip on mandatory confinement, and the strain on hospitalisations will still be seen for another week while that in intensive care units for another two weeks, Mayol said.

Italy still has, by far, the world’s highest coronavirus death toll – almost 16,000 – but the pressure on northern Italy’s ICUs has eased so much that Lombardy is no longer airlifting patients to other regions.

In the northern city of Bergamo, one of Europe’s virus epicentres, hospital staff were still pulling long, difficult shifts even if the numbers of new patients had eased a bit.

virus pain easing in spain

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