'Don't cry victory too soon': Pope Francis erges people to be careful as Italy gradualy lifts lockdown

Pope Francis told the faithful to 'follow the rules, they are rules that help us to avoid the virus getting ahead' again.
Pope Francis (File photo | AP)
Pope Francis (File photo | AP)

VATICAN: Pope Francis is cautioning people in countries emerging from coronavirus lockdowns to keep following authorities' rules for COVID-19 containment.

"Be careful, don't cry victory, don't cry victory too soon," he said Sunday.

Italy's gradual easing of stay-at-home rules now allows the public to gather in St. Peter's Square on Sundays for the pope's noon blessing, and Francis was clearly delighted to see several hundred people gathered in the square below his window, standing safely either individually or as families.

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Francis told the faithful to "follow the rules, they are rules that help us to avoid the virus getting ahead" again.

"Thank God, we're slowly coming out" from the coronavirus pandemic," he said.

But in his prepared remarks, the Argentine-born pontiff has also expressed dismay that the virus is still claiming many lives, especially in Latin America.

In his off-the-cuff comments to the people in the square, he didn't name any country, but said that two days earlier, in one day, a death of an infected person was registered every minute.

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