Tagle back in Vatican, tests negative for COVID-19

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 14 2020 08:38 AM

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, former Archbishop of Manila and now prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, is back in the Vatican and has tested negative of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). 

Fr. Gregory Gaston, rector of the Pontificio Collegio Filippino, said Tagle arrived in Rome last Sunday and had a swab test at the Vatican on Monday. 

"Today (Tuesday in Rome) the results came out, negative for COVID. Earlier, two days before leaving the Philippines, he also tested negative for COVID," he said in a statement. 

Gaston said Tagle will remain in self-isolation for several days while working from home at the Pontificio Collegio Filippino.

Tagle earlier tested positive for the virus when he arrived in Manila from Rome last September 11. The cardinal, who has been staying at the Vatican as part of the Roman Curia or the pope's Cabinet since February this year, went back to the Philippines for a late summer break and to visit his elderly parents. 

The archbishop, who is also the head of Caritas International, met Pope Francis on August 29 in a private audience, prompting the pontiff to undergo a coronavirus test, which later turned out negative. 

As a precautionary measure, the more than 30 priests and staff at the Pontificio Collegio Filippino, where the cardinal has been residing since he came to Rome, also underwent swab tests for the coronavirus and all of them have tested negative. 

Tagle is the first head of a Vatican dicastery to test positive for coronavirus. He is also the fifth Filipino bishop to contract COVID-19.