VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis met with the Spanish prime minister at the Vatican, but neither man wore a mask during the public part of their meeting.
That’s despite 13 Swiss Guards and someone staying at the same Vatican City guest house where Francis lives recently testing positive for the coronavirus.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez wore a mask when he arrived in a Vatican courtyard, but everyone sat unmasked immediately before and after his closed-door talks with Francis.
Spain this week became the first country in Western Europe with more than 1 million confirmed virus cases.
The Vatican says Sanchez also spoke with the Holy See’s foreign minister, discussing matters including “the current health emergency, the process of European integration and migration.”
In his speech, Francis called politics “an act of charity, nobility” and the mission of a politician is to help a nation to progress. The pontiff also says its “very sad” when ideologies drive the destiny of a nation.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— US sets daily record of more than 83,000 virus cases
— Pope Francis, Spanish PM Sanchez meet at Vatican without masks
— Italy’s daily coronavirus cases reach nearly 20,000
— Poland’s President Andrzej Duda has tested positive for the coronavirus; apologizes to those in quarantine because of contact, including Poland’s recent French Open winner.
— AstraZeneca resumes late-stage testing of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate in the U.S.
— Police force in England says it will try to stop people from leaving Wales, which has started a 17-day lockdown to slow a surging rate of coronavirus infections.
Follow all of AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
PHOENIX — Arizona is experiencing increases in coronavirus cases and the rate of positive test results.
The 14-day rolling average of daily confirmed infections rose from 617 on Oct. 9 to 914 on Friday. Meanwhile, the average daily deaths increased from 7.6 to 8.4 and the positive test average went from 6.5% to 8.9%.
Rolling averages even out daily spikes and drops.
The state Department of Health Services on Saturday reported 890 cases and four additional deaths, increasing the Arizona totals to 236,772 confirmed infections and 5,869 deaths.
OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma has registered more than 1,800 newly confirmed coronavirus cases.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health report on Saturday comes one day after Gov. Kevin Stitt extended a state of emergency another 30 days. The health department reported 1,829 new cases for a total of 115,685.
There have been 11 more deaths, bringing the death toll to 1,245.
ROME – Italy’s one-day coronavirus cases crept closer to 20,000 on Saturday.
That’s despite a few thousand fewer swab tests performed, according to the Health Ministry.
Lombardy, where the outbreak has been most devastating, registered more than double the number of daily cases than any other region.
The nation’s confirmed death toll, second highest in Europe after Britain’s, rose to 37,210, after 151 more deaths.