(BEIJING) — The Vatican is insisting Pope Francis is only suffering from a cold, not coronavirus.
Francis came down with the cold last week, skipped several official audiences and on Sunday announced he would stay home from a week-long spiritual retreat outside Rome to recover.
On Tuesday, Rome daily Il Messaggero reported he had tested negative for the coronavirus.
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni didn’t confirm or deny the Messaggero report, but stressed that Francis had been diagnosed with a cold and that it was “running its course, without symptoms linked to other pathologies.”
The 83-year-old Francis generally has good health but he lost part of a lung to a respiratory illness when he was a young man.
Italy is in the midst of a coronavirus emergency in the north, with more than 2,500 positive cases.
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Contributor: Associated Press