Ecumenical Patriarch positive for COVID

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Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians, has tested positive for COVID-19 and is displaying mild symptoms.

The Istanbul-based Patriarchate said on Friday that Bartholomew, who is 81 and recently had heart surgery, is fully vaccinated. It added that "his general condition is good."

The Patriarch has urged people to get their shots and follow the recommendations of doctors.

Bartholomew was hospitalised overnight in the United States in late October and later had a stent installed to open up a clogged coronary artery.

He is considered first among equals among Eastern Orthodox patriarchs, which gives him prominence but not the power of a Catholic pope.

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