Vatican City’s first coronavirus case confirmed

Vatican City’s first coronavirus (COVID-19) case has been confirmed.

A number of precautionary measures have been implemented to contain the disease, a Vatican spokesman says.

These include:

Closing some of the Vatican’s offices.

Shutting down and disinfecting the Vatican health clinic.

Putting a Vatican official into a protective quarantine after he came into contact with a priest who tested positive for the virus. (So far the official isn’t showing symptoms of COVID-19.)

Closing the Vatican Apostolic Library doors throughout this week.

Pope Francis, who lost part of one lung from a respiratory illness when he was a young man, thanked all those who are responding to the healthcare emergency.

“I wish to express again my closeness to those who are ill with the #coronavirus and to healthcare workers who are caring for them, as well as to civil authorities and all those involved in assisting patients and in containing the spread of the virus,” Francis tweeted.

Although Francis came down with a cold over a week ago, he has no symptoms of any other illness, the Vatican says.

Although recovering well, Francis has canceled several official audiences as well as his participation at a week-long spiritual retreat in the Roman countryside for the meanwhile.

It is not clear how the Vatican will alter Francis’ schedule and other events both inside the Vatican and during Holy Week activities leading up to Easter Sunday on April 12.

Francis usually presides over the Way of the Cross procession at the Colosseum on Good Friday, celebrates an Easter Vigil in St. Peter’s Basilica and delivers the “Urbi et Orbi” (“to the city and to the world”) Easter Day message in St. Peter’s Square.


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