Pope Francis urged Catholic monks on Tuesday to “have the courage” to exit and assist these sickened by the novel coronavirus, hours after Italy was positioned on a nationwide lockdown.
“Let us pray to the Lord also for our priests, that they may have the courage to go out and visit the sick… and to accompany the medical staff and volunteers in the work they do,” the pontiff mentioned throughout a mass in Vatican Metropolis.
St Peter’s Sq. within the Vatican — within the centre of the Italian capital Rome — was nearly empty on Tuesday with just a few dozen individuals strolling round, most of them with out masks.
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The Italian authorities has requested for individuals to not journey if they will keep away from it and to keep away from contact with the sick.
Officers handed a decree late Monday extending nationwide restrictive measures that had been put in place on the weekend within the hardest-hit northern areas.
The restrictions — together with checkpoints on roads and in railway stations — are set to stay till April three.
Italy is the epicentre of the European virus outbreak with greater than 9,000 circumstances and 463 deaths thus far.
Globally, greater than 110,000 circumstances have been recorded in over 100 nations, though well being consultants are hopeful that the virus has peaked in China, the place it originated late final 12 months.