One of the hospitals in Italy that has borne witness to the worst of the pandemic says that it's noticed a marked change in their new patients: the virus inside them seems to be losing its potency.
Alberto Zangrillo is the head of the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan. Talking to Italy's RAI television, he said: "In reality, the virus clinically no longer exists in Italy."
According to Zangrillo, swab tests on patients performed over the last 10 days showed a much lower viral load compared to ones carried out a month ago.
In other words, the new patients have noticeably less of the virus in their bodies.
He also said that some experts were too alarmist about the prospect of a second wave of infections and politicians needed to take into account the new reality.
The statement is being treated with caution by the Italian government and other health officials, though.
A spokesperson for the Italian health ministry asked doctors not to confuse Italians until there was scientific evidence that the virus has disappeared.
They instead urged Italians to continue to follow social distancing rules and maintain maximum caution.
Italy has the third-highest death toll in the world, with over 33,000 people dying from COVID-19 since late February. It also has the sixth-highest global tally of cases.
But new infections and fatalities have steadily fallen in May and the country is unwinding some of the most rigid lockdown restrictions in Europe.
A second doctor from northern Italy also told the national ANSA news agency that he was also seeing the coronavirus weaken.
But the government has urged caution, saying it was far too soon to claim victory.