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Senior Italian cardinal, papal vicar for Rome, has coronavirus

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FILE PHOTO: 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. REUTERS/Tony Gentile/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) – Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, Pope Francis’ vicar for the diocese of Rome, on Monday became the highest-ranking Catholic official known to test positive for coronavirus.

De Donatis’ office said he was tested for the virus after feeling unwell and was admitted to a Rome hospital. His closest aides had gone into voluntary quarantine as a precaution, a statement said.

A pope is also the bishop of Rome but appoints someone to act as his vicar to administrate the vast diocese.

De Donatis, 66, is not believed to have had personal contact with Pope Francis recently.

The Vatican said on Saturday that the pope and his closest aides did not have the virus. Coronavirus has killed 11,591 people in Italy, about a third of the deaths around the world.

Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Ken Ferris

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via Reuters