Vatican City, Mar 28, 2020 / 10:05 am
The Vatican said Saturday Pope Francis does not have the coronavirus, and that recent testing of 170 Holy See employees for COVID-19 resulted in only one new case.
This brings the total number of coronavirus cases connected to Vatican City to six, papal spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement March 28.
“I can confirm that neither the Holy Father nor his closest collaborators are involved,” the spokesman stated.
The six positive cases include a priest who lives in the same Vatican guesthouse as Pope Francis. The priest, an official of the Secretariat of State, was put into isolation as soon as he presented symptoms of COVID-19, Bruni said.
Tests were carried out on those the official had been in physical contact with and later other Holy See employees were also tested “as a precaution,” bringing the total tested to 170, the spokesman said.
According to Bruni, only one other test came back positive from those tests – a Holy See employee who was in close contact with the Secretariat of State official.
The spokesman said other precautionary measures have been carried out, such as additional sanitation.
The Secretariat of State official is not in critical condition but has been admitted to a hospital in Rome for care and observation, Bruni added.