Pope Francis tested for coronavirus after 'falling ill' and cancelling events last week
News

Pope Francis tested for coronavirus after 'falling ill' and cancelling events last week

POPE FRANCIS has been officially tested for coronavirus just days after being seen coughing during Ash Wednesday Mass.

The Vatican announced that Francis had "fallen ill" on Thursday, and cancelled a series of engagements he was due to attend later in the week.

Thankfully for the 83-year-old, results from his coronavirus test came back negative.

It's understood that the pontiff had only taken the test as a precaution.

He was given a 'routine' test after falling ill on Ash Wednesday with symptoms of a cold including a cough, fever, chills and sore throat.

Advertisement

The scare comes amid a localised coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy.

Over 2,000 people are believed to have contracted the virus in the country while 52 have died.

While Rome had no confirmed cases at the time, due to Francis coming into contact with thousands of people over the course of any given week, fears began to mount that he may have caught the deadly virus, but those fears have now been allayed.

Medics have not said what the Pope is suffering from, but he previously described it as 'a cold'.

He was pictured coughing and rubbing his eyes during Ash Wednesday mass, before disappearing from public view for the next four days while he recovered.

The Pope then appeared at the window of the Vatican's Apostolic Palace on Sunday to address thousands of people in St. Peter's Square for a noon blessing.

During the blessing, he announced he would not be participating in a yearly spiritual retreat for Lent that was due to start this week.

Advertisement

Instead, he said he would be following it from his residence in a Vatican guest house.