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Two cardinals test positive for coronavirus at Vatican: reports

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Two cardinals in the Vatican have tested positive for COVID-19, a source told Reuters and The Washington Post on Tuesday. 

Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, 57, has been hospitalized for symptoms of pneumonia, and Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, the 78-year-old governor of Vatican City, is believed to be in self-isolation at his home, according to Reuters. 

The Vatican press office has not confirmed the positive test results or said whether either cardinal has been in contact with Pope Francis in recent days, according to news outlets. It was unclear whether either or both attended the Curia — a Monday Christmas event with the pope and the Vatican’s central administration.

Krajewski, who manages the pope’s charities, works on the streets of Rome to assist the homeless and has set up a clinic and bathing facilities outside of St. Peter’s Square. 

Despite the reports of positive cases, Francis does not appear to be self-quarantining. His schedule announced in the past few days indicates he will give his Christmas message inside the Vatican, rather than in St. Peter’s Square, and conduct several small prayer gatherings, the Post noted.

Throughout the pandemic, the Vatican has reported about 30 COVID-19 cases, including Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, who went into isolation in September. The Swiss Guard, which protects the pope, also had an outbreak in October. 

Italy, which surrounds Vatican City, was struck hard by the pandemic earlier this year and has recorded the most deaths in Europe and the fifth highest of any country in the world at nearly 70,000 fatalities, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The country has the eighth-highest number of cases of any nation with more than 1.9 million confirmed.

Tags Cardinals Catholic Christmas Coronavirus COVID-19 COVID-19 positive Italy Pandemic Pope Pope Francis Vatican Vatican City
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