Pontiff cancels several appointments due to a cold.
Pope Francis, who has cancelled numerous events in recent days due to a heavy cold, has reportedly tested negative for the Coronavirus, according to a report in Rome daily newspaper Il Messaggero.
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni told Reuters that he had no immediate comment on the report which claimed that the pope was tested for the Coronavirus as a "precautionary" measure.
The 83-year-old-pontiff, who missed a week-long Lenten retreat in Ariccia near Rome and cancelled several other recent appointments, has been suffering from a cold since late last week.
The pope did however impart his papal blessing following the Angelus, in St Peter's Square on 1 March, during which he struggled more than once with a bad cough.
The absence of the pontiff, who had part of one lung removed when in his 20s, represents the longest sick leave of his papacy.
The Vatican has dismissed the pope's illness however as a “mild indisposition”.
Pope Francis has been taken ill at a time when the Vatican Museums have seen an estimated 60 per cent drop in visitors due to concerns over the Coronavirus.
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Pope Francis tests negative for Coronavirus
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