The head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has tested negative after being examined for the novel coronavirus infection following what the church described as a “slight indisposition”.
The Pope was forced to cancel all his official duties following growing fear in Italy owing to the outbreak of coronavirus in the country.
The pontiff had fallen ill on Ash Wednesday and displayed symptoms of a cold, with a slight cough, fever, and sore throat. This led him to cancel all his engagements, including the lent.
The illness drew concerns from the world, as he had earlier prayed for patients of the coronavirus on Ash Wednesday without wearing any form of protection or face mask.
He even spent time with the sick, shaking their hands and kissing the worshippers, including a child in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican.
The Pope later canceled several planned activities owing to the sickness and further made an announcement on Sunday in a weekly address that he would be canceling a planned spiritual retreat because of a cold.
The Pope then took a coronavirus test which then came out negative, according to a report by Italian newspaper Il Messaggero.
Italy has the highest number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus outbreak in Europe. Italy’s confirmed number of infections has risen to 52, and the entire continent of Europe has crossed 2,000.