Vatican City confirms first coronavirus case

Pilgrims and followers gather to hear Pope Francis ahead of The Angelus Prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square, The Vatican on August 15, 2018, on The Feast of Assumption. (File photo)

The Vatican said on Friday that a patient in its health services had tested positive for coronavirus, the first in the tiny, walled city state surrounded by Rome.

The discovery brought the epidemic to the heart of the capital of Italy, the worst-hit European country. The death toll in Italy, where the virus has hit mostly in the north, stood at 148 on Thursday.

A Vatican spokesman said the case was diagnosed on Thursday and that services in Vatican clinics had been suspended to sanitize the areas.

Most Vatican employees who use its health services live in Italy on the other side of the border with the 108-acre city state.

Bruni gave no details on whether the person who tested positive was such an employee or among the relatively few clergy or guards who live inside its walls.

The Vatican has said Pope Francis, who canceled a Lent retreat for the first time in his papacy, is suffering only from a cold that is “without symptoms related to other pathologies.” 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:02 - GMT 07:02
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