CNA Staff, Nov 13, 2020 / 03:23 pm (CNA).- Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, president of the Italian Bishops Conference, has slightly improved and was moved out of the ICU, but remains in critical condition since contracting COVID-19, his auxiliary bishop said on Friday afternoon.

“We welcome the news that our Cardinal Archbishop Gualtiero Bassetti has left the intensive care unit” at the hospital of Santa Maria della Misericordia,” said Auxiliary Bishop Marco Salvi of Perugia, in northern Italy. However, he warned that the cardinal’s condition “is still serious and requires a chorus of prayers.”

Earlier on Friday, the hospital’s daily bulletin reported a “slight improvement” on Bassetti’s condition, but warned that the “clinical picture remains serious and the cardinal needs constant monitoring and appropriate care.”

The 78-year-old Archbishop of Perugia, chosen by Pope Francis to lead the Italian Bishops’ Conference in May 2017, was diagnosed with Covid-19 on October 28th and was hospitalized on November 3 in very serious condition. He was placed in “Intensive Care 2” in the Perugia hospital.

After his condition worsened, on November 10, Pope Francis called Bishop Salvi, who has also contracted COVID19 but remains asymptomatic, to ask about the cardinal’s condition and offer his prayers.

Despite the slight improvement and the fact that the cardinal is awake and aware, “it is necessary to continue incessantly in prayer for our shepherd, for all the sick and for the health workers who take care of them,” Salvi said. “To these we give our heartfelt thanks and appreciation for what they do every day in alleviating the suffering of so many patients.”

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