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Pope Picks New Doctor After Previous One Died From COVID-19

Channels Television  
Updated February 24, 2021
File: Handout / VATICAN MEDIA / AFP.

 

Pope Francis appointed a new personal doctor on Wednesday, several weeks after the death from Covid-19 of the previous holder of the post.

The 84-year-old pontiff picked Roberto Bernabei, an expert in health care for the elderly, as his physician, the Vatican said in a statement.

Bernabei, 69, leads the geriatrics and rehabilitative medicine department at Rome’s Gemelli, the Catholic hospital where popes are traditionally treated.

The last papal doctor, Fabrizio Soccorsi, died aged 78 on January 9 of Covid-19-related pulmonary complications, following a hospitalisation for cancer.

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Francis is believed to be in relative good health, despite having had part of his lung removed when he was a young man after developing pleurisy.

Last month he cancelled several events due to a bout of sciatica, a chronic nerve condition that causes hip pain and makes him walk with a slight limp.

Also in January, the pope received the coronavirus vaccine alongside his predecessor, former pope Benedict XVI.