Pope Francis, who canceled a Lent retreat for the first time in his papacy because he is suffering from a cold, has tested negative for coronavirus, the Italian newspaper Il Messaggero reported this morning.
The 83-year-old Roman Catholic leader, who had part of one lung removed because of an illness decades ago, also canceled most audiences last week.
But in a surprise announcement hours earlier, he said he would be following it from his residence in a Vatican guest house.
He has been taken ill at a time when Italy is battling a surging outbreak of the potentially deadly coronavirus.
The death toll in Italy jumped to 52 on Monday from 34 the day before and the total number of confirmed cases in Europe’s worst affected country climbed past the 2,000 mark.