ROME -- Pope Francis has welcomed doctors and nurses from the coronavirus-ravaged region of Lombardy to the Vatican to thank them for their selfless work and “heroic” sacrifice.
Francis dedicated one of his first post-lockdown audiences to Italy’s front-line medical personnel Saturday.
He told the delegation that their example of professional competence and compassion would help Italy forge a new future of hope and solidarity.
The northern region of Lombardy was the hardest-hit region in the onetime European epicenter of the pandemic.
It has counted more than 92,000 of Italy’s 232,000 infections and half of Italy’s 34,500 dead.
Francis also took a dig at some conservative priests who chafed at lockdown measures, calling their complaints “adolescent.”
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.Avoid non-essential travel.