Namita Singh – independent.co.uk
Lucile Randon, who took the name of Sister Andre when she joined her religious order in 1944, had tested positive for coronavirus on 16 January, but did not develop any symptoms.
“I didn’t even realise I had it,” she told the French newspaper Var-Matin.
Sister Andre, who is blind and uses a wheelchair, was isolated from other residents in her retirement home in Toulon during the period of her illness. Three weeks later, the French nun has been declared free of the virus after receiving negative test results.
“She didn’t ask me about her health, but about her habits,” David Tavella, the spokesman for the Sainte Catherine Labouré retirement home, 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.”
When the French broadcaster BFM television asked her if she was afraid after being infected with the virus, Sister Andre was defiant. She said: “No, I wasn’t scared, because I wasn’t scared to die.
“I’m happy to be with you, but I would wish to be somewhere else – to join my big brother, and my grandfather and my grandmother,” she said.
Born on 11 February 1904, Sister Andre is believed to be the second oldest person alive on Earth, according to the Gerontology Research Group’s (GRG) World Supercentenarian Rankings List. The oldest person is Japan’s Kane Tanaka, who turned 118 on 2 January.
According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, there have so far been 106 million cases of coronavirus recorded across the world and more than two million people have died after testing positive for Covid-19.