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Pope health fears: Coronavirus case in Vatican residence after man tests positive

The Vatican said in a statement the unidentified man was not displaying symptoms associated with COVID-19. He has left the Santa Marta residence and entered isolation along with others with whom he had had direct contact. The statement added three Vatican residents who recently tested positive have now fully recovered.

The circumstances around this case are similar to one that occurred in March.

On that occasion, someone else living in the Vatican residence, which has about 130 rooms and suites, tested positive for coronavirus when the pandemic began sweeping through Italy.

Pope Francis, 83, had a part of one of his lungs removed when he suffered from an illness as a youngster in his native Argentina, and is tested for coronavirus on a regular basis.

Despite the latest positive test of someone in his Vatican residence, the Pope followed a normal service on Saturday.

He received three people in separate private audiences and addressed a large group of Italian police.

The Vatican, the small city-state in surrounded by Rome, has not felt the significant effects of coronavirus so far – despite cases continuing to surge throughout Italy.

Last week, the Vatican revealed four members of the Swiss Guard, the elite corps charged with protecting the Pope, tested positive for coronavirus.

On Thursday, Pope Francis kept a safe distance from visitors during his weekly general audience, saying the new measures aimed at trying to bring the latest surge in coronavirus infections under control meant he had to hold back.

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Last month, Pope Francis resumed his weekly audiences following a six month break as the coronavirus pandemic, which has so far killed nearly 37,000 people in Italy, swept through the country.

But with a second wave of infections now gripping Italy, there have been growing fears the Pope, who often does not wear a mask, was getting too close to visitors.

The Pope said form a stage: “I would like to, as I usually do, go down and get closer to greet you. But with the new regulations, it is better if we keep a distance.

“It often happens that when I go down, everybody gets close and piles up. And it’s a problem because there is a risk of infection.

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“This way, everyone wearing their mask and maintaining their distance, we can go forward with the audiences.”

On Wednesday the Pope, who does wear a mask in large spaces, arrived at his weekly audience via the door at the back of the hall.

As he made his way through the crowds, the Pope walked through the stage door, smiling and waving to well-wishers from a distance.

He told them: “Sorry if today I greet you from far away, but I believe that if everybody, as good citizens, follows the regulations of the authorities, it will help to handle the pandemic. Thank you.”

Daily Express

The Daily Express is a daily national middle-market tabloid newspaper in the United Kingdom. Published in London, it is the flagship of Express Newspapers, owned by publisher Reach plc. It was first published as a broadsheet in 1900 by Sir Arthur Pearson. Its sister paper, the Sunday Express, was launched in 1918.

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