Pope Francis to be discharged from hospital Saturday, Vatican says

Vatican officials said on Friday that Pope Francis is expected to be discharged from the hospital on Saturday, three days after he was unexpectedly hospitalized with a respiratory infection.

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The pope underwent tests at Rome’s Gemelli Polyclinic on Wednesday after complaining in recent days of respiratory issues, according to Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy See Press Office. He was subsequently hospitalized for treatment of infectious bronchitis.

Medical personnel said Thursday that the treatment “produced the expected effects with a marked improvement in his state of health.” Pending the results of final tests, Bruni said the pope would be released Saturday and be present in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday for Palm Sunday services.

The hospitalization marked the pope’s most recent bout of medical issues. In recent months, Francis has been dealing with mobility problems related to his knee, according to BBC News. Since last year, he has been using a cane or a wheelchair in public appearances, Reuters and Sky News reported.

In 2021, Francis was hospitalized for several days after having surgery for diverticulitis, a condition that can cause inflammation of the colon, according to The Associated Press and the National Institutes of Health.

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