Pope Francis' doctor dies from coronavirus complication: report

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 10 2021 10:42 PM

General view of the Vatican's St. Peter's Basilica on on January 1, 2021. Tiziana Fabi, AFP

MANILA - The personal doctor of Pope Francis has died due to complications from the novel coronavirus, the Catholic News Agency (CNA) said quoting a Vatican newspaper. 

Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano said Dr. Fabrizio Soccorsi was being treated for an “oncological pathology,” when he died at Rome’s Gemelli Hospital, CNA said.

“As Francis’ personal physician, Soccorsi traveled with the pope on his international trips. During his visit to Fatima, Portugal in May 2017, Pope Francis laid two bunches of white roses before the statue of the Virgin Mary for Soccorsi’s daughter, who was critically ill, and died the following month,” the news agency said. 

Italy is one of the countries most severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Vatican itself has seen a number of novel coronavirus infections.

Last December, two Vatican cardinals, including one who spends most of his time helping Rome's homeless, tested positive for the coronavirus.

Four members of the Swiss Guards, the Pope's colorfully-dressed personal protection force, also tested positive for the novel coronavirus in October.

In March last year, a person who lives in the same Vatican residence as Pope Francis tested positive for coronavirus and was hospitalized.

The Vatican announced it would begin its COVID-19 vaccination campaign with health workers and the elderly to receive vaccines from the second half of January.

Pope Francis has said that he would get inoculated against the virus himself next week when the Vatican would begin its campaign.