The Catholic Herald has learned new details regarding the Vatican’s response to the Coronavirus emergency, in the wake of a confirmed case inside the walls of Vatican City.
A statement from the director of the press office of the Holy See, Matteo Bruni, gave the news of the confirmed case in a terse statement sent to journalists Friday morning.
“This [Friday] morning,” the statement reads, “all outpatient services of the Health and Hygiene Directorate of the Vatican City State were temporarily suspended in order to sanitize the rooms following a positivity to COVID-19 found in a patient yesterday.”
The statement goes on to say that the urgent care centre — the Guardia Medica — in Vatican City remains open and functioning. “The Health and Hygiene Directorate is taking steps to inform the competent Italian authorities,” the statement says, “and in the meantime the planned health protocols have been activated.”
The main urgent care facility is in the same building as some of the outpatient services.
Bruni responded to queries from the Catholic Herald, explaining that the patient is known to have visited the facilities located in the basement level of the building — the same that houses the urgent care centre on a half-level between the ground floor and the first floor. Bruni also explained that the urgent care centre had already been sanitized, along with the foyer and stairwell.
The urgent care centre, the foyer, and stairwell, have been cleared for use. The basement-level facilities remain closed, as authorities continue to follow sanitation protocol.
Indications are that traffic around the urgent care facility has been lighter than usual owing to the Coronavirus emergency, and that only a few people have been exposed. They have been quarantined according to protocol.