Vatican City, Feb 27, 2020 / 15:00 pm
The Vatican has implemented special health measures and canceled some events as more than 500 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Italy.
Hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed in Vatican City offices, and there is a nurse and a doctor on call at a Vatican clinic to give immediate assistance, Holy See Press Office Director Matteo Bruni told Vatican News.
While there have been no diagnosed cases of the coronavirus in Vatican City, Bruni said Feb. 24 that Vatican health staff have worked with the Italian Ministry of Health on procedures which can be brought into action, and are in close contact with the regional authorities in Lazio.
“In compliance with the provisions of the Italian authorities, some events scheduled for the next few days in indoor places and with an important influx of public have been postponed," Bruni said.
With Pope Francis’ Lenten retreat scheduled for March 1-6, there are no papal audiences scheduled for next week, but conferences in Rome and other indoor events have been canceled.
A conference schedule to take place March 5-6 at the Pontifical Gregorian University on the opening of Vatican archives of Pope Pius XII has been canceled, as has a March 2-7 communications workshop at the Pontifical Urbaniana University for global representatives of the Pontifical Missions Societies.
An event for a book on Cardinal Celso Costantini Feb. 25, at which Cardinals Pietro Parolin, Luis Antonio Tagle, and Fernando Filoni were expected to speak, was canceled due to coronavirus concerns.
As of Feb. 27, Pope Francis is still scheduled to give his Sunday Angelus address on March 1 before leaving for his Lenten retreat.