As we mentioned earlier, Pope Francis has tested negative for coronavirus.

According to Il Messaggero, he started to have a fever and a sore throat and was swab tested for the virus.

The pope, 83, has been seen coughing and blowing his nose in recent appearances.

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His schedule has been lightened and his Lent retreat was cancelled for the first time in his papacy.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni told Reuters news agency he had no immediate comment on the report.

He was taken ill at a time when Italy is battling an outbreak of the virus in the north. On Monday, the death toll there jumped to 52 from 34 the day before.