It has been over three months and the number of coronavirus cases is still rising. As of writing, more than 90,000 individuals from around the world have contracted the virus, and confirmed deaths have risen to 3,112. China still has the largest number of cases at 80,304, with South Korea and Italy coming in second and third, with 4,812 and 2,036 cases, respectively.
Due to the spike in numbers—especially in Italy where the Vatican is located—the faithful have started to become concerned for the Pope’s health. It comes as Lolo Kiko is missing a portion of his lung due to an illness he contracted when he was younger, making him susceptible to respiratory diseases like CoViD-19.
Another reason the faithful are worried is because Pope Francis has been working from home since February 27. He has also cancelled all official appointments due to colds.
The Ash Wednesday Mass was Pope Francis’s last public appearance, during which he was seen coughing and blowing his nose. The Pope also cancelled all his general audiences Friday that week. But an update from the Vatican has confirmed that Pope Francis has only contracted simple colds, and has tested negative for the coronavirus.
Coronavirus in Italy
On March 1, news surfaced that a Vatican staff is being quarantined for suspected coronavirus. The unnamed staff was staying with his religious community in Rome, when one priest tested positive for the virus through a swab test. The staff member was also said to have stopped by several towns in northern Italy, where most confirmed cases of CoViD-19 are located.
Vatican Dicastery for Communication prefect Dr. Paolo Ruffini and Bishop Lucio Adrian Ruiz, Secretariat for Communication, assured the public that Vatican offices and common areas are sanitized and cleaned regularly. Updates on the staff member will also be provided, once available.