COVID-19 case moved out of pope residence

 VATICAN CITY – A prelate who tested positive for COVID-19 has been moved out of the Vatican residence where Pope Francis also lives, the Holy See press office said.

 The person has temporarily left the Domus Sanctae Marthae - the pope’s residence - director of the Vatican press office, Matteo Bruni, said in a statement last weekend.

 “The patient, currently asymptomatic, was placed in isolation, as were those who came into direct contact with him,” Mr Bruni said.

 This is the second case in the residence since the coronavirus pandemic broke out. Last March, another prelate who lives there had contracted the virus.

 The Vatican last week confirmed a cluster of 11 cases among the Swiss Guards, who protect the pope.

 Italy’s spike in cases of coronavirus has put the 83 year-old pontiff on high alert.

 He has stopped the usual hand kissing with the sick and the faithful at the general audiences on Wednesdays.

 “I would like, as I usually do to go down and approach you to greet you, but with the new regulations, it is better to keep your distance,” the pope said.

 “Excuse me if today I greet you from afar, but I believe that if we all, as good citizens, adopt the measures of the authorities, this will help to end this pandemic.”