Italy's coronavirus Patient No. 1, whose infection confirmed one of the world's deadliest outbreaks on the cards, took part in a 180-kilometre (112-mile) relay race in memory of COVID-19 victims and as a sign of hope after he himself recovered after weeks in the intensive care unit.
38-year-old Mattia Maestri, on Saturday, September 26 prepped up for the start of the two-day race between Italy's first two virus hotspots. It began in Codogno, where Maestri tested positive on February 21 and ended on Sunday in Vo'Euganeo, where Italy's first official COVID death was recorded the same day.
Wearing a black face mask, Maestri said the race was a "beautiful initiative" uniting the two virus-ravaged cities. He added that he was thrilled to even be alive to participate.
"I feel very lucky," he said at the starting line, reported The Washington Post.
Maestri tested positive for the novel coronavirus on February 21 and was the first confirmed case of domestic transmission in Italy, suggesting that the virus was circulating silently among the local population.