Pope Francis has reportedly taken ill and cancelled an event at a Rome basilica just a day after he prayed for coronavirus sufferers in Italy.
According to the UK Mirror, the pontiff prayed for coronavirus sufferers on Ash Wednesday, while mask free, and even took time to shake hands and kiss worshippers, including a child, in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican.
The publication also added the pope appeared to have a cold and spoke with a slightly hoarse voice at his general audience on Wednesday and coughed during an afternoon Ash Wednesday service in a Rome church.
Speaking during the mass at St Peter’s Square, the Pope showed solidarity with coronavirus patients amid the alarming outbreak in Italy.
He said: “I wish, again, to express my closeness to those who are ill with coronavirus and to health-care workers who are caring for them.”
After falling ill, the Vatican said on Thursday that the Pope is carrying out the rest of his schedule in his residence,
“Because of a slight indisposition, he preferred to stay inside Santa Marta,” the Vatican said, referring to the guest house where the 83-year-old pontiff lives.
All other commitments will go ahead regularly,” spokesman Matteo Bruni said
In Italy, the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto are locked down, following the report over 500 cases and 14 deaths from coronavirus, also known as Covid-19.