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Test on Italian Pilgrim to Mount Athos Negative for Coronavirus

The National Herald Archive

Mt. Athos, the unique Monastic Community of the entire world. (Photo: Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America)

THESSALONIKI -A sample taken from an Italian pilgrim to Mount Athos has tested negative for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the AHEPA hospital announced on Monday. The 50-year-old Italian was sent to the COVID-19 referral hospital after he presented the symptoms (a cough and fever) of a suspected coronavirus infection. Based on the tests carried out, he appears to be suffering from an ordinary flu.

The 50-year old was visiting Chilandari Monastery on Sunday, when the monks saw that he was coughing and had a fever and transferred him to the Karyes Health Centre, from where he was sent to AHEPA.

The man's contacts in Mt. Athos are being traced and according to Athens-Macedonian News Agency sources, in addition to the Chilandari Monastery where there are approximately 60 monks of mostly of Serbian descent, the Italian also visited the monastery of Zografou.

The Holy Community, the highest administrative body of the monastic community, recently discussed the possibility of prohibiting the entrance of pilgrims but decided against this for "spiritual reasons".