Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Pope Francis Tests Negative for Coronavirus

Tue 03 Mar 2020 | 10:26 AM
NaDa Mustafa

Pope Francis, who cancelled a Lenten spiritual retreat for the first time in his papal history, after suffering severe flu has tested negative for Coronavirus, according to the Italian newspaper “Il Messaggero”.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said he had no immediate comment on the newspaper report.

The 83-year-old Roman Catholic pontiff also cancelled many masses last week. He underwent a surgery to remove a part of lung because of an illness decades ago.

Francis was scheduled to take part in the week-long retreat with senior Vatican officials that began on Sunday night at a Church residence south of Rome.

But in a surprise announcement hours earlier, he said he would be following it from his residence in a Vatican guest house.

He became sick at a time when Italy is battling a surging outbreak of the potentially deadly Coronavirus.

The death toll in Italy jumped to 52 on Monday from 34 the day before and the total number of confirmed cases in Europe’s worst affected country climbed past the 2,000 mark.

It is worth mentioning, the epidemic has killed over 3,000 people worldwide, with the vast majority in mainland China and infected 90,000 globally.

Last week, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, and Iraq reported their first cases of the virus, meanwhile, the other Arab countries reported many cases over the last few days.