(TMU) — Pope Francis has announced that he is too ill to attend his church service today. As a result the mass was cancelled.
His announcement comes as officials in Italy are scrambling to control the quickly growing COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak which has now killed 14 people and infected over 500 in the country.
Rome specifically, where Pope Francis calls home, has had three known patients, but all of them have since recovered.
There is no clear indication that Francis has caught the coronavirus, he could just be experiencing the common cold or flu. But considering the extent of the outbreak in Italy, there is a possibility that the 83-year-old is suffering from COVID-19, especially considering how many people he interacts with on a regular basis.
Francis appeared sick during a service on Ash Wednesday where he was seen sneezing, coughing, and blowing his nose.
During the Ash Wednesday services the pope expressed his support for coronavirus sufferers.
“I wish, again, to express my closeness to those who are ill with coronavirus and to health care workers who are caring for them,” he said, according to Vatican News.
BREAKING NEWS: Pope taken ill amid coronavirus crisis in ItalyFull Story: https://dailym.ai/387vkns
Posted by Daily Mail on Thursday, February 27, 2020
Vatican Spokesman Matteo Bruni assured reporters that the pope’s illness was “slight.”
“Because of a slight indisposition, he preferred to stay inside Santa Marta. All other commitments will go ahead,” Bruni said.
According to the Sun, Francis had interacted with many worshippers in the days before his illness.
Meanwhile, Lombardy governor Attilio Fontana, the region at the epicenter of Italy’s coronavirus outbreak, has placed himself in quarantine after one of his staff members became infected.
Fontana addressed the public in a Facebook video on Wednesday where he appeared wearing a mask over his face.
“For now I don’t have any type of infection so I can continue to work … but for two weeks I will try to live in a sort of self-isolation,” he said.
"I am ready to protect everyone from Lombardy and anyone who comes into contact with me.”
Governor of Italy’s Lombardy region is in self-isolation after his aide caught coronavirus.
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) February 27, 2020
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