Vatican Insists Pope Francis Only Has a Cold — Not Coronavirus

(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.

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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