by Br. Alexis Bugnolo
Rome, March 9, 2020: The office of the Governor of the Vatican City has issued a special decree regarding provisions to be taken to prevent the spread of the Corona Virus.
Here are photos of the two page decree. I will publish an English summary, below:
The instructions from the Director of Health and Hygene are basic precautions:
- Wash one’s hand frequently
- Avoid approaching those who are suffering acute respiratory infection
- Do not touch one’s own eyes, nose or mouth with one’s hands
- Cover the nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing
- Do not take antiviral or antibiotic medicines without a prescription
- Clean surfaces with a solution of Bleach or 75% Alcohol.
- Use medical masks only if you suspect that you are sick or if you are assisting someone who is.
The Governor’s Office has issued the following norms:
- Post notices which regard these regulations at the entrances of all departments and facilities.
- Suspend all meetings and gatherings which include persons who work in the health sector or public sector.
- Suspend or avoid all activities in spaces which are enclosed which do not allow for the spacing of at least 1 meter between persons.
- Adopt measures for the sanitation of all public transport means.
- Suspend all educational meetings.
- Limit movements and trips which are unnecessary.
- There has already been forbidden that those accompanying the sick wait for them in waiting rooms of health facilities in the Vatican City state
- Residents of the Vatican City State are to notify Vatican Health Authories by telephone and schedule a visit at their residence, if they notice that they have contracted any possible symptoms of Corona Virus (dry cough, cold, sore throat, fever, and difficulty breathing).
- Non Vatican City residents are counseled not to go to the walk-in patient facility of the Vatican City state but to contact a Doctor at the Health Foundation at the Vatican.
The Governor’s office ends by emphasizing the importance of correctly following the instructions given. But no financial or criminal penalties are imposed for non observance.
It seems obvious, from this decree, which does NOT suspend religious services, that the Vatican is not taking seriously the news about Corona Virus, and that there is a massive disconnect between the Italian Bishop’s Conference suspension of all services in Italy, an no suspension of services at the Vatican.
Saint Peter’s Basilica remains open to tourists. However, the Vatican Museums are closed.