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COVID-19: Pope Francis tells priests to go out and meet the virus sick

Catholic Pope has encouraged priests to go out and 'meet the coronavirus sick' as he avoids crowds amid an outbreak that has killed more than 4,000 people globally.

Pope Francis who was tested negative of the deadly COVID-19 has come down with a cold and cancelled appearances at the Vatican to avoid interacting with worshippers during the crisis.

Sunday's services were live-streamed as the 83-year-old pontiff decided not to address crowds from a window overlooking St Peter's Square as normal.

Vatican Papal will not hold his general audience from there on Wednesday as all of Italy is under an unprecedented lockdown affecting some 60million people.

More than 100,000 have been infected in more than 100 countries and territories including Russia, United States and Iran.

Italy, Iran and South Korea are the worse hit countries by the COVID-19 outside China where the virus was first discovered in late December 2019.

Italian authorities have put the entire country on coronavirus lockdown and all public events banned.

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