Vatican City reports its first case of coronavirus, days after Pope tested negative
- Patient in Vatican City, Italy tested positive for the COVID-19 virus on Thursday
- Outpatient services in clinics will be suspended while areas are deep cleaned
- The confirmation comes days after Pope Francis tested negative for the virus
The Vatican has reported its first case of coronavirus – days after Pope Francis tested negative for the virus.
A patient in the city state – which has some 1,000 residents – tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, spokesman Matteo Bruni confirmed.
Outpatient services in Vatican clinics will be suspended while the areas are deep cleaned but emergency services will continue, he added.
The Vatican has informed Italian health authorities about the case.
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni confirmed a patient in its health services had tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday (Pictured: St. Peter’s Square on Thursday)
It was revealed on Tuesday that a member of staff in the Vatican had been placed in quarantine over fears they may have contracted the disease.
The worker had come into contact with a French priest who has since been hospitalised in Paris, and has been placed in isolation as a precaution.
It is unclear whether the two cases are related.
The confirmation of the Vatican’s first coronavirus case comes days after Pope Francis tested negative for the virus.
Pope Francis has tested negative for coronavirus, after cancelling engagements and largely disappearing from public view last week after falling ill (pictured on Sunday)
The entrance of the Vatican Museums was deserted on Wednesday amid coronavirus fears
The pontiff, 83, had been forced to cancel a series of engagements last week due to illness.
He was given a ‘routine’ test after falling ill on Ash Wednesday with symptoms of a cold including a cough, fever, chills and sore throat.
He was given a swab test as a precaution but the results have come back negative, according to Italian newspaper Il Messaggero.
Francis fell ill as Italy battles a coronavirus outbreak that has sickened more than 4,000 people and killed 148.
Fears were raised for the Pope’s health after he fell sick amid a coronavirus outbreak in Italy which has sickened more than 2,000 people and killed 52
While Rome had no active cases of coronavirus when Francis fell sick, fears were raised after he was pictured touching hands and kissing faces in St Peter’s Square (pictured, Vatican tourists wearing protective masks)
Francis submitted to a precautionary swab test after developing symptoms including a cough, fever and sore throat, but the results were negative
Though Rome had no active cases at the time of his illness, fears were raised that Pope Francis could have unknowingly contracted the disease after he was pictured shaking hands and kissing faces in a crowd of well-wishers in St Peter’s Square.
The fact doctors saw fit to test him for the illness shows those fears were shared by Vatican staff.
Medics have not said what the Pope is suffering from, but he previously described it as ‘a cold’.
The Vatican recently stepped up measures to try and prevent an outbreak of coronavirus – with masks and gloves distributed among staff who come into contact with the public.
Staff have also been advised to wash their hands thoroughly and avoid people with symptoms, while visitors are being asked to avoid forming dense crowds and to shield their faces when they cough or sneeze.
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