The pope will spend “a few days” in the hospital for a respiratory infection | world news

Pope Francis will have to spend “a few days” in hospital for treatment of a respiratory infection, according to the Vatican.

Spokesman Matteo Bruni said the 86-year-old had been complaining of breathing difficulties in recent days and had gone to Gemelli Hospital for tests.

The pontiff does not have COVID but requires several days of therapy, he added.

“Tests showed a respiratory infection (COVID-19 infection excluded) which will require a few days of medical treatment,” a statement read.

“Pope Francis is touched by the many messages received and expresses his gratitude for the closeness and the prayers.”

The announcement came hours after the pope was taken to hospital for tests.

The Vatican initially said the check had been planned, but Italian media questioned that and said a TV interview with the pope this afternoon was canceled at the last moment.

Earlier today, the pope attended his weekly general audience at the Vatican and appeared in good health.

However, he grimaced strongly as he got on and off the “popemobile”.

US President Joe Biden said he learned of Pope Francis’ health issues and expressed concern for his dear “friend”.

Previous health issues

Pope Francis had his lung removed when he was young due to a respiratory infection and he often speaks in low tones.

He spent 10 days in Gemelli Hospital in 2021 after surgery for bowel stricture, when 33cm (13 inches) of his colon was removed.

The pontiff has been using a wheelchair for more than a year due to strained ligaments in his right knee and a small knee fracture. He said the injury was healing and he has been walking more with a cane lately.

Pope Francis said he resisted surgery for the knee problems because he did not respond well to general anesthesia during bowel surgery in 2021.


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