Pope Francis remains sick, cancels audiences as Coronavirus continues to sweep through Italy

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Pope Francis who became sick on Thursday after supporting coronavirus sufferer on Wednesday is still sick since then as Coronavirus outbreak continues to sweep through Italy

Pope remained ill with an apparent cold on Friday and canceled official audiences, The Post reported.

The 83-year-old Argentine Pope celebrated morning Mass as usual and greeted congregants at the end, the Vatican said. He planned to go on with his private meeting schedule, but opted to cancel his official audiences.

“The Holy Father celebrated Mass this morning and at the end, as usual, greeted the participants, but decided to postpone today’s official audiences,” spokesman Matteo Bruni said on Friday, the Vatican News reported. “The meetings on the agenda at Casa Santa Marta continue regularly.”

The Vatican has not said exactly what the pope came down with, but he appeared to have a cold as he coughed and blew his nose during Ash Wednesday Mass.

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Meanwhile, the coronavirus outbreak continues to sweep through Italy — with 650 people infected and 17 dead. More than 400 of the cases occurred in the country’s northern Lombardy region.

During a general audience in St. Peter’s Square on Ash Wednesday, 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.

Francis has not specifically met with coronavirus sufferers, but shook hands with the faithful in the front row during the audience. He also kissed a baby during his popemobile spin through St. Peter’s Square and greeted visiting bishops, according to the report.

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But the clergy members appeared to refrain from kissing his ring or embracing him as they normally would.

The Pontiff has generally been in good health. He lost part of a lung as a young man due to a respiratory illness, and also suffers from sciatica.


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