Pope delivers Sunday prayers via livestream as Italy is put into lockdown after 36 people die in a single day – bringing the toll to 233
- The 83-year-old pontiff broke with centuries of tradition to live stream prayers
- Wanted to prevent crowds going to Saint Peter’s Square for Angelus Prayer
- Coronavirus infections in Italy has jumped to 4,636, with 148 dead
Pope Francis delivered today’s Sunday prayers by livestream to keep crowds from descending on Saint Peter’s Square amid the coronavirus crisis.
The 83-year-old pontiff is to break with centuries of tradition by enlisting the help of technology for his weekly Angelus prayer.
The latest figures show that the number of people in Italy with the virus jumped by 778 to 4,636, of whom 148 have died.
The Pope himself tested negative for the virus after he fell ill on Ash Wednesday with symptoms of a cold including a cough, fever, chills and sore throat.
People in face masks walk on St. Peter’s Square as Pope Francis delivers his weekly Angelus prayer via video for the first time
Pope Francis delivered his Angelus prayer on a giant screen, in St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican and voiced his support for the victims
The pontiff broke with centuries of tradition by enlisting the help of technology to keep crowds from descending on Saint Peter’s Square for the traditional Angelus Prayer. Pictured: The Pope coughs while delivering prayers last Sunday
Pope Francis, 83, decided to deliver Sunday’s prayer by livestream and Italy called in retired doctors as the new coronavirus epidemic gathered strength and emptied streets in Europe’s worst affected country. Pictured: The Pope wipes his nose during Ash Wednesday
‘The prayer will be broadcast via livestream by Vatican News and on screens in Saint Peter’s Square,’ the Vatican said in a statement yesterday.
It had originally promised to review the Argentine-born pope’s schedule ‘to avoid the dissemination’ of the new COVID-19 disease.
The Vatican appeared to believe that the pope’s absence from his traditional spot at the window would keep the crowds on the vast square down and the threat of contagion low.
The pope himself has been out of action for more than a week with a cold and was pictured coughing while delivering prayers last Sunday.
The Pope himself tested negative for the virus after he fell ill on Ash Wednesday with symptoms of a cold including a cough, fever, chills and sore throat. Pictured: People wear masks during the Angelus prayer last week
St Peter’s Square flood with people every week who come to listen to the Angelus prayers
The Vatican is in the process of unrolling unprecedented health precautions designed to keep the city state’s 450 mostly elderly residents safe.
It recorded its first COVID-19 infection on Thursday and was awaiting the results of a test on another person who appeared at a Vatican-organised event last month.
That conference was also attended by Microsoft President Brad Smith and European Parliament President David Sassoli.
The Vatican said all those present were being notified about the test as a precaution.
After he fell ill last week, the Pope was forced to cancel a series of engagements.
He was given a swab test as a precaution but the results came back negative, according to Italian newspaper Il Messaggero.
Francis fell ill as Italy battles a coronavirus outbreak that has sickened more than 2,000 people and killed 52.
Source: Read Full Article