Pope Francis’ personal doctor has died from COVID-19 complications, bringing into concern Pope’s health and well-being.
It is, however, not clear when the doctor was last in direct contact with the Pope, CNN reports.
Fabrizio Soccorsi, 78, was chosen by the pontiff as his personal physician in 2015.
His death was announced in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper.
Dr Soccorsi was being treated in hospital in Gemelli Hospital for cancer at the time of his death, the Vatican said.
After graduating from medical school in 1968, he rose to become director of the department of liver diseases, digestive system and nutrition and of the internal and specialist medicine department at San Camillo Forlanini Hospital in Rome, according to L’Osservatore.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis said on Saturday he planned to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as early as next week and urged everyone to get a shot, to protect not only their own lives but those of others.
“I believe that ethically everyone should take the vaccine,” the Pope said in an interview with TV station Canale 5. “It is an ethical choice because you are gambling with your health, with your life, but you are also gambling with the lives of others.”
Vatican City, the smallest independent county in the world, home to about 450 people including Pope Francis, has said it will shortly launch its own vaccination campaign against the coronavirus.
“Next week,” the Pope said, “we will start doing it here, in the Vatican, and I have booked myself in. It must be done.”
Pope Francis, 84, had part of one lung removed during an illness when he was a young man in his native Argentina, making him potentially vulnerable to the disease.
(Picture Courtesy: Vatican News)