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French nun, world's 2nd-oldest person, fends off COVID ahead of her 117th birthday

Paris — A 116-year-old French nun who is believed to be the world's second-oldest person has survived COVID-19 and is looking forward to celebrating her 117th birthday on Thursday. The Gerontology Research Group, which validates details of people thought to be 110 or older, lists Frenchwoman Lucile Randon — Sister André's birth name — as the second-oldest known living person in the world.

Virus Outbreak France Oldest Survivor
An image made from BFM TV video shows Sister Andre, born Lucile Randon, being interviewed by David Tavella, Communications Manager for the Sainte Catherine Laboure Nursing Home in Toulon, France, February 9, 2021. BFM TV/AP

French media report that Sister André tested positive for the virus in mid-January in the southern French city of Toulon. But just three weeks later, the nun is considered recovered.
"I didn't even realize I had it," she told French newspaper Var-Matin.
Sister André, who is blind and uses a wheelchair, did not even worry when she received her diagnosis.
"She didn't ask me about her health, but about her habits," David Tavella, the communications manager for the care home where the nun lives, told the newspaper. "For example, she wanted to know if meal or bedtime schedules would change. She showed no fear of the disease. On the other hand, she was very concerned about the other residents."
Not all of the home's residents shared Sister André's luck. In January, 81 of the 88 residents tested positive for the virus, and about 10 of them died, according to Var-Matin.

France and Germany impose new lockdowns as COVID-19 cases surge 04:10

Once doctors declared the nun no longer infected, she was allowed to attend Mass. Local media said she was looking forward to a birthday celebration with friends at the nursing home, albeit smaller than usual as the coronavirus is still raging across France.

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