The Italian man known as Patient No. 1 in the spread of coronavirus throughout the country is no longer in the hospital after arriving in critically ill condition last month, The Associated Press reported.

Italian authorities in the Lombardy region, the hardest-hit area of the country, played an audio recording from the 38-year-old man identified only by his first name, Mattia, saying, “You can get cured of this illness."

The man spent 18 days in intensive care on a respirator in an Italian hospital, according to the AP. He said after being treated, he began to do “the most simple and beautiful thing: that is, to breathe.”

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Italian medical professionals have said that the virus may have been spreading in Italy before Mattia’s diagnosis and that some patients who died of pneumonia in the country last year may also have had coronavirus, the AP reported.

Italian media reported the death last week of Mattia’s father, who lived in one of the first towns in the Lombardy region where the outbreak began.

The man is expecting the birth of a child this week, according to the outlet. 

There are at least 63,927 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Italy, and more than 6,000 people have died. The country currently has the most fatalities from the pandemic in the world.