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Pope met COVID-19 infected bishop at Vatican, report says

The Holy See’s ambassador to Australia had a face-to-face meeting with Francis at the Vatican on Oct. 6, less than two weeks before testing positive for COVID-19.

CANBERRA, Australian Capital Territory — Pope Francis has been warned of potential exposure to COVID-19 after a Vatican diplomat was infected, Australian media reported on Friday.

Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana, the Holy See’s ambassador to Australia, had a face-to-face meeting with Francis at the Vatican on Oct. 6, less than two weeks before testing positive to COVID-19 in Australia, Nine News reported.

Australian authorities say a diplomat who flew into Sydney on Oct. 9 had tested positive to the coronavirus. They won’t reveal the diplomat’s identity.

The diplomat tested positive 10 days after he started quarantining at home in the national capital Canberra, the Australian Capital Territory Health Department said in a statement.

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The department said the risk of infection was “low” for the two people who drove the diplomat 300 kilometers (185 miles) from Sydney to Canberra.

Australia’s Health Department said in a statement on Friday “all relevant international state parties have been notified.”

The Vatican did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

The United States has more than 8.4 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to statistics from Johns Hopkins University.

Just after 7:30 a.m. EDT Friday, the U.S. had more than 223,000 deaths from the virus. Worldwide, there are more than 41 million confirmed cases with more than 1.1 million deaths.

Credit: AP
Pope Francis waves to faithful at the end of the weekly general audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

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