Rome cardinal hospitalized with coronavirus

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Mar 31 2020 07:31 AM

New cardinal Angelo De Donatis of Italy is seen during a consistory ceremony to install 14 new cardinals in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, June 28 2018. Tony Gentile, Reuters/file

VATICAN - A senior Catholic clergyman was hospitalized in Italy on Monday after testing positive for COVID-19.

Cardinal Angelo De Donatis said in a statement that he had a fever but was otherwise in generally good health and undergoing anti-viral therapy in a Rome hospital.

"I am also experiencing this trial," De Donatis said in reference to the novel coronavirus.

"I am at peace and confident."

De Donatis officially serves as the vicar general of the Diocese of Rome on behalf of Pope Francis.

He is the first cardinal known to have the contracted the virus.

The Vatican confirmed over the weekend that the pope himself had tested negative for COVID-19 after a prelate who lives at his residence was hospitalized for the virus last week.

Italy has recorded 11,591 deaths and the Lazio region that surrounds -- but does not include -- the Vatican City microstate has reported 150 deaths.

The Vatican has officially confirmed four infections and no deaths.

© Agence France-Presse