Coughing pope cancels trip, but it’s just a cold, not coronavirus

Pope Francis wiped his nose during the Ash Wednesday mass, sparking fears that he had coronavirus. (File/AFP/Alberto Pizzoli)
Short Url
Updated 01 March 2020

Coughing pope cancels trip, but it’s just a cold, not coronavirus

  • There were concerns that Pope Francis had coronavirus after coughing and neezing
  • He has canceled several official engagements this week as he battled an apparent cold

VATICAN CITY: A coughing Pope Francis told pilgrims gathered for the traditional Sunday blessing that he is canceling his participation at a week-long spiritual retreat in the Roman countryside because of a cold.
It is the first time in his seven-year papacy that he has missed the spiritual exercises that he initiated early in his ponitificate to mark the start of each Lenten season. Such retreats are typical Jesuits, an order to which he belongs.
The 83-year-old pontiff, who lost part of a lung to a respiratory illness as a young man, has canceled several official engagements this week as he battled an apparent cold. The Holy See press office has called it a “slight illness” without giving other details.
His weekly appearance Sunday to pilgrims from a window high above St. Peter’s Square was the first time he has been seen publicly since Ash Wednesday, when he was seen coughing and blowing his nose during an Ash Wednesday Mass.
Francis paused twice while addressing the faithful.


Hong Kong records 107 new COVID-19 cases in latest spike

Updated 18 January 2021

Hong Kong records 107 new COVID-19 cases in latest spike

  • The Chinese special administrative region last recorded a triple digit figure on Dec. 19 with 109 cases

HONG KONG: Hong Kong reported 107 new coronavirus cases on Monday, the highest toll in nearly a month as authorities tested thousands of residents after an outbreak in an old residential building located in a busy commercial and residential area last week.
The Chinese special administrative region last recorded a triple digit figure on Dec. 19 with 109 cases. At its peak in July 2020 the city logged 149 new infections.
Dozens of infections were found last week in a densely packed apartment building in Yau Tsim Mong, a teeming district in the city’s Kowloon area.
Authorities thereafter ordered mandatory testing on hundreds of people living in the area and neighboring streets.
Hong Kong has recorded nearly 10,000 coronavirus cases and 162 deaths since the start of 2020.
Businesses are reeling from ongoing COVID-19 restrictions which have banned gatherings of more than two people and closed sport facilities, beauty salons and all restaurants for dining after 18:00 local time.