Pope Francis fell ill on the Ash Wednesday in Rome, Italy, the day after he welcomed and blessed mass without a mask. On the mass, the Pope expressed his support for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) sick people worldwide. However, the Vatican refused to report whether the Pope was or will be tested for the new Coronavirus COVID-19.
The illness forced the 82-year-old Pope to cancel the penitent mass, marking the start of lent, that he’d planned to celebrate at the St. John Lateran basilica in Rome.
“This morning the pontiff did not go to St John Lateran Basilica for the Penitential Mass with Roman clergy. Due to a light indisposition, he preferred to stay near Santa Marta (Popes Vatican Residence). Other duties are proceeding regularly.”
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni on 27. February
Bruni refused to answer the question of whether the Pope would be tested for Coronavirus.
Concern about the Pope has spread on social networks, because he coughed and blew his nose during the mass on Ash Wednesday.
“I would like to express my closeness to the Coronavirus patients and to the health workers who are treating them, as well as to the civil authorities.”
Pope Francis in Vatican News.
Coronavirus is still spreading in Italy
In Italy, more than 650 people have been infected with the new COVID-19 virus and more than 17 people have succumbed to the virus, far above the European average. Fear is spreading and more than a dozen towns have been quarantined in the north of Italy because of the virus.