The Vatican says someone who lives in the same Vatican hotel as Pope Francis has tested positive for coronavirus, adding to the 11 cases of COVID-19 among the Swiss Guards who protect him.
The Vatican said Saturday that the resident of the Domus Sanctae Marthae has moved out temporarily and is in isolation, as are all the people who came into direct contact with him.
The hotel serves as a residence for Vatican-based priests as well as visiting clerics and lay people. Francis chose to live there permanently after his 2013 election, shunning the Apostolic Palace, because he said he needed to be around ordinary people. The hotel has a communal dining room and chapel where Francis celebrates Mass each morning.
The Vatican, a tiny city state in the center of Rome, has beefed up its anti-COVID-19 measures amid a resurgence of the outbreak in Italy. Protective masks are required indoors and out, but Francis has largely shunned them even when holding audiences with the public.
At 83 and with part of a lung removed when he was in his 20s due to illness, the pope would be at high-risk for COVID-19 complications.
Last week, the Vatican confirmed a cluster of 11 cases among the Swiss Guards, the tiny army of young Swiss men who serve as ceremonial guards at papal Masses, guard the Vatican City gates and protect the pope.
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia — Slovakia is acquiring 13 million rapid antigen tests for a mass testing of its population amid a record surge of coronavirus infections.
Prime Minister Igor Matovic says almost 6,000 testing sites will be established across the country for the testing that is scheduled to take place the next two weekends, starting with the three or four hardest-hit counties.
Matovic says it will be similar for citizens to going to cast ballots at elections. It’s unclear if the testing will be mandatory.
Antigen tests are less accurate than PCR tests, which are considered the gold standard, but have the advantage of producing faster results.
The nation of 5.4 million has been facing a record spike with the number of confirmed positive cases in one day surpassing 2,000 on Thursday.
The Slovak authorities have so far conducted a relatively low number of tests compared with other European countries. Just under 12,000 were carried out on Friday.
The country has a total of 28,268 confirmed cases and 82 people have died.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— Virus surges in key battleground states as election nears
— White House puts ‘politicals’ at CDC to try to control info
— UK’s Johnson threatens to impose restrictions on Manchester
— Belgium will tighten coronavirus restrictions from Monday in an effort to hold the disease in check. The new measures include a night-time curfew and the closure of cafes, bars and restaurants for a month.
— Doctors are warning that Europe is at a turning point as the coronavirus surges back across the continent, including among vulnerable