• Miguel Angel Benitez, Spain's first COVID-19 case, reportedly recovered after being treated with HIV medication
  • Benitez's recovery does not mean all patients will survive, scientists noted
  • Spain has reported a total of three deaths so far

Spain’s first coronavirus case, Miguel Angel Benitez, that was discovered last month, reportedly recovered completely from the disease after being treated with antiretroviral drug lopinavir-ritonavir at Seville’s Virgen del Rocio Hospital.

According to the Daily Mail, the drug, also called Kaletra, has been used for years on patients with HIV. The 62-year-old was also said to have been treated with several medication that reduce multiple sclerosis symptoms.

Kaletra is known to prevent viruses from multiplying further in the blood of sufferers. The hospital where Benitez received treatment has been testing the combination of drugs for several weeks now.

Despite the good news about Benitez’s recovery, Spanish scientists warned that his recovery does not mean all patients with the COVID-19 will respond similarly to the treatments used on Benitez.

Scientists said recovery will still rely heavily on the strength of a patient’s immune system, which is why health authorities have been encouraging people to keep track of their health amid the coronavirus crisis.

News of Benitez’s recovery came as Spain reported a third death in the country on Thursday morning. The 99-year-old woman who passed away in Madrid’s Gregorio Mari ñ on hospital was found to have contracted the novel coronavirus, The Local Spain reported.

The third death came just a day after the second Spanish coronavirus fatality was reported in the Basque Country. The said patient died on February 13 but post-mortem results showed that he was infected.

It is believed that the 69-year-old COVID-19 patient contracted the disease during a trip to Nepal. His symptoms developed into pneumonia and later succumbed to the novel virus.

Meanwhile, travel analytics company Forwardkeys indicated on a report released on Thursday that flights booked to Europe plummeted by 79 percent in late February following a spike in COVID-19 cases in Italy.

According to The Brussels Times, the report said the last week of February saw a massive decline in new bookings from around the world, with most Asia Pacific nations accounting for a 114.2 drop in new bookings.

The drop indicates that more cancellations were made instead of new bookings to Europe. Forwardkeys vice president Olivier Ponti said the drop in Italy bookings was “even worse” than what the group observed in terror-related issues that kept people from traveling to the country.