Coronavirus: Four of pope’s Swiss Guards test positive for COVID-19

The Vatican Media shows Pope Francis (L) presides over a ceremony in The Vatican’s Clementine Hall, for the new Recruits of the Pontifical Swiss Guard. (AFP/Vatican Media)

Four members of the Swiss Guards, the pope’s colorfully-dressed personal protection force, have tested positive for coronavirus, the Vatican said on Monday.

All four are showing symptoms and are currently in quarantine, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement.

For more coronavirus news, visit our dedictaed page.

“In the meantime.... all the guards, either in service or not, will wear masks inside and outside in observation of proscribed health measures,” he said.

The Swiss Guards, an army created in 1506 by Pope Julius II for his protection, currently number over 100.

They are a popular tourist magnet at the Vatican, with their showy yellow, red and blue uniforms, halberds – an axe-like weapon – and metal helmets with ostrich plumage.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

According to long tradition, Swiss Guards must all be between 19 and 30 years old and at least 1.74 meters tall. They must be practicing Roman Catholic, Swiss, and unmarried.

Today’s Swiss Guards are said to enjoy a more personal and informal relationship with the current pontiff, Pope Francis, who is seen as being less attached to strict papal protocol than his predecessors.

The Vatican has said that 83-year-old Francis is being constantly monitored for coronavirus.

Read more:

Coronavirus: Pope Francis ‘constantly monitored’ for COVID-19, Vatican says

Coronavirus: After record testing, every region in Italy reports new cases

SHOW MORE
Last Update: Monday, 12 October 2020 KSA 17:53 - GMT 14:53
Top