Vatican: Rome cardinal tests positive for Covid-19

De Donatis is the first cardinal to test positive for Covid-19.

Rome's Cardinal Vicar, Angelo De Donatis, has been hospitalised after testing positive for Coronavirus, reports Vatican News.

Cardinal De Donatis, the pope's vicar general for the diocese of Rome, is being treated at the city's Gemelli hospital, according to a statement on the official website of the diocese.

The cardinal, who has a fever but whose condition is otherwise stable, was hospitalised immediately after the positive diagnosis for Covid-19 on 30 March.

Appointed to his role by Pope Francis in 2017, De Donatis is the first cardinal to test positive for Coronavirus.

Aside from his closest collaborators, all of whom are now in isolation as a precautionary measure, the cardinal has had very few recent meetings with the staff of the Lateran Palace, where he is based, reports Vatican News.

De Donatis has reportedly also stayed away from the Vatican, maintaining contact with the pope by telephone only.

“I, too, am experiencing this trial, I am calm and confident" - the cardinal said in the statement published on the Diocesi di Roma website - "I entrust myself to the Lord and to the support of all your prayers, dear faithful of the Church of Rome!”

The news comes days after an Italian monsignor working at the Vatican's Secretariat of State and living at the Casa S. Marta, the residence of Pope Francis, tested positive for Coronavirus.

The Holy See sanitised the building and carried out swab tests on 170 people at the Vatican, including the pontiff, with all results coming back negative, according to the director of the Holy See press office, Matteo Bruni.