Pope Francis has initiated a free coronavirus test for the poor and homeless in Rome as part of the World Day of the Poor for the Roman Catholic Church.
This was reported by Reuters.
The biomaterial is offered to be handed over in the clinic on St. Peter’s Square, which the Pope created a few years ago to provide basic medical care to disadvantaged people.
Archbishop Reno Fisichella told reporters that about 50 free coronavirus tests are being performed daily, and that the initiative will last until the end of the pandemic.
Homeless people with a negative test are sent to a special shelter. People with a positive test receive the necessary medical treatment. Most homeless people in Rome are foreigners who do not have a family doctor. But even Italians who find themselves in financial difficulties do not turn to family doctors because they are ashamed.
The Pope established World Day of the Poor four years ago to draw attention to the needy, especially in developed countries. This year the holiday will be celebrated on Sunday, November 15.
The pope traditionally celebrated Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica and then treated 1,500 homeless people to dinner at the Vatican canteen. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, only 100 homeless people will attend Mass this year, but everyone in need will be given a set of food.