Final coronavirus patients discharged from Samaritan's Purse field hospital in Italy

Samaritan's Purse team members pray for COVID-19 patients in the Intensive Care Unit of the Emergency Field Hospital.(Photo: Samaritan's Purse)

Samaritan's Purse has discharged the last of its patients from an emergency field hospital set up in Italy to treat people with coronavirus.

Over 280 patients were treated at the temporary hospital, which was erected to provide overflow capacity to Cremona Hospital in the Lombardy region. 

It was established when the coronavirus crisis took hold in northern Italy, overwhelming the region's hospitals. 

Releasing the last of the patients from the field hospital marks a "significant turning point in the virus", the evangelical ministry said. 

"This is an answer to prayer because it means the local healthcare system will be able to meet the needs of the community and the added capacity is no longer necessary," it said. 

The last patient left the field hospital at 3pm on Thursday.  The following day, members of the Disaster Assistance Relief Team that served in the 68-bed facility met the mayor and local football team.  They have been made honorary citizens of Cremona. 

The field hospital opened on March 20, with the intensive care unit being filled to capacity in just 24 hours. 

The facility was flown from the US to Corona along with 38 tons of medical supplies. Over a hundred disaster response specialists have provided care in the temporary hospital over the last two months. 

"Thank you so much to the nurses because they give me the strength to overcome this disease, to overcome this pain and to overcome this awful situation," patient Angelo Lorandi said. "Thank you from the deepest of my heart."