Vatican Media Screenshot

Neither Pope Nor Closest Collaborators Have Coronavirus

After Carrying Out Large Scale Testing, Vatican Confirms 6 Total Cases to Date, Including One at Pope’s Residence, Casa Santa Marta

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So far there have been six cases of individuals positive in the Vatican confirmed, including one at the Pope’s residence…

The Vatican and his closest collaborators do not have the virus and are all fine…

This was the substance of the declaration made late Saturday, March 28, 2020, by the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni.

«In recent days, as part of the checks carried out by the Health and Hygiene Directorate of the Vatican City State in compliance with the directives on the coronavirus emergency,» the statement began, «another positive was found of Covid-19: an officer of the Secretariat of State resident in Santa Marta who, presenting some symptoms, had subsequently been placed in self-isolation.»

At the moment, the Vatican spokesman elaborated, his health condition is not particularly critical, but as a precautionary measure he was admitted to a Roman hospital to be placed under observation, in close contact with the authorities of the Health and Hygiene Directorate.

«Following this positive result,» he continued, «measures were taken in accordance with the health protocols provided for, both in relation to the sanitation of the environment, the workplace and residence of the person concerned, and with regard to the reconstruction of the contacts made in the days prior to the result.»

The health authorities, he noted, carried out tests on the people in closest contact with the positive case identified.

«The results confirmed the absence of other positive cases among those residing in Casa Santa Marta, and one further positive case among employees of the Holy See in close contact with the official.»

As a precautionary measure, given this further finding, he stated that «appropriate sanitation measures were taken and new tests were carried out, along with the previous ones totaling over 170, on the employees of the Holy See and the residents of the Domus.»

These latter tests, he said, «all gave negative results,» explaining there are therefore «currently six employees of the Holy See and citizens of Vatican City State affected by Covid-19.»

«I can confirm,» Matteo Bruni concluded his statement, «that neither the Holy Father nor his closest collaborators are involved.»

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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