Rome, Mar 29 (GCCurrentAffairs) Pope Francis has been tested negative the coronavirus, although there are six confirmed COVID-19 cases connected to Vatican City, papal spokesman Matteo Bruni said.
“I can confirm that neither the Holy Father nor his closest collaborators are involved,” Bruni said in a statement on Saturday, as quoted by The Catholic Herald newspaper.
According to the papal spokesman, the current six confirmed Vatican City coronavirus cases include a priest who lives in the same guest house as Pope Francis. A total of 170 people have been tested for COVID-19, including those who had come into contact with the priest, who is an official of the Secretariat of State.
One Holy See employee who had come into contact with the Secretariat of State official has tested positive for COVID-19, according to Bruni.
On Friday evening, Pope Francis delivered a solitary “Urbi et Orbi” prayer to an empty St. Peter’s Square. This particular prayer service usually takes place at Christmas and Easter only. The Friday service was called “An Extraordinary Prayer in the Time of Pandemic.”
The coronavirus pandemic has taken the lives of over 30,300 people globally, according to the Johns Hopkins University count, and there are currently over 652,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide.
Vatican City reported its first case on March 5 after a patient tested positive in country’s outpatient health facility.