Vatican City, Mar 24, 2020 / 12:25 pm (CNA).- The director of the Holy See’s press office, Matteo Bruni, said Tuesday there are now a total of four people connected to Vatican City who have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Included in this number, Bruni said, is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 connected to Vatican City, which was announced March 6. Of the subsequent cases, two are employees of the Vatican Museums and a third is an employee of the merchandise office.
Bruni stated March 24 that these four patients “had been placed in solitary confinement as a precaution before they tested positive and their isolation has already lasted for over 14 days; currently they are being treated in Italian hospitals or at home.”
The Vatican’s first case of the coronavirus was found after a patient tested positive in the city state’s outpatient health facilities March 5. The facilities were then closed for one day to allow for their sanitation.
The confirmation of COVID-19 cases came after information that the Vatican’s dicasteries and other offices will continue to be operational during the Italian lockdown.
The press office informed journalists March 24 that increased measures have been put in place to avoid the spread of the coronavirus, such as increasing the numbers of those who work remotely, thus minimizing the number of staff present in offices.
This is to both “limit the movement of employees and at the same time guarantee the exercise of the Petrine ministry,” the release stated.
“The heads of the dicasteries are entrusted with the task of continuing to ensure essential services to the Universal Church.”
During the Italian coronavirus lockdown, Pope Francis has continued certain aspects of his daily schedule, including his morning Mass, general audiences, and Angelus, however they are being shared over video livestream and without the presence of the public.
His schedule has also included one-on-one meetings with Roman curia officials.
The number of active COVID-19 cases in Rome’s region of Lazio has grown to over 1,500. There have been 80 deaths from the virus in the region. Overall, more than 6,800 people have died in Italy from the coronavirus.
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