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Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios tests positive for Covid-19

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Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios has tested positive for Covid-19 and is experiencing only mild symptoms of the disease, the patriarchate’s press office in Istanbul has announced.

The 81-year-old spiritual leader of the world’s Eastern Orthodox Christians tested positive on Friday and immediately went for tests to a central Istanbul hospital, where his overall condition was found to be quite good.

Vartholomaios has been fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, the press office added. He also recently underwent successful heart stent surgery in New York.

“The ecumenical patriarch thanks everyone for their interest in the state of his health and encourages everyone, as a father, to follow the recommendations of doctors and scientific experts. He also urges those who have not been vaccinated yet to go and do it for their own and society’s sake,” the announcement said.