Pope Reportedly Tested for Coronavirus

He does not have COVID-19, per 'Il Messaggero'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2020 6:11 AM CST
Updated Mar 3, 2020 6:33 AM CST
Report: Pope Is Tested for Coronavirus
Pope Francis coughs during the Angelus noon prayer he recited from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Pope Francis, who's been suffering from a cold for days, has tested negative for the coronavirus, according to Italian media. Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni wouldn't confirm or deny the news reported Tuesday by the Il Messaggero newspaper. He had previously described the 83-year-old's illness as only "a mild indisposition," per the New York Post, which describes the swab test as a precaution.

The report came a day after Italy's death toll from the coronavirus outbreak jumped from 34 to 52, per Reuters. Italy is thought to be the hardest hit country in Europe, with more than 2,000 cases. As a result, the pope's three-day international economic summit bringing together economists and entrepreneurs from 115 countries, initially scheduled for this month, has been postponed until November, per the Catholic News Agency. (Meanwhile, the pope will skip a Lent retreat.)

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