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Pope Francis set to leave hospital on Saturday, Vatican says

2023-03-31T11:02:19Z

Pope Francis is expected to leave hospital on Saturday pending the results of his latest medical tests, the Vatican said in a statement on Friday.

The pope, 86 and suffering from a number of ailments, was taken to Rome’s Gemelli hospital two days ago after complaining of breathing difficulties.

He was diagnosed with bronchitis and has responded well to an infusion of antibiotics, the Vatican said on Thursday.

“His Holiness is expected to return to Santa Marta tomorrow, once the results of the latest tests from this morning are known,” the Vatican said.

Santa Marta is a residence next to St. Peter’s Basilica where the pope lives.

Highlighting the pope’s improved health, the Vatican said he had pizza last night in hospital with his doctors, nurses, assistants and security personnel.

Earlier on Friday, the dean of the college of cardinals, Giovanni Battista Re, told Italian news agency Adnkronos that the pope might be able to participate in all Easter week celebrations, which kick off on Sunday.

The week includes a busy schedule of rituals and ceremonies that can be physically exhausting, including a Good Friday nighttime procession by Rome’s Colosseum.

Re said arrangements had been made for Francis to be helped by a cardinal in each of these celebrations.

Related Galleries:

Pope Francis speaks during a general audience at St Peter’s Square, Vatican City, March, 29, 2023. Vatican Media/­Handout via REUTERS

A statue of former Pope John Paul II is seen in the courtyard of the Gemelli Hospital, where Pope Francis is hospitalised for a respiratory infection, in Rome, Italy March 31, 2023. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Rio de Janeiro’s Archbishop Cardinal Orani Tempesta prays for Pope Francis’s health with catholic priests, in the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil March 30, 2023. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

A can with the portrait of Pope Francis is seen in the courtyard of the Gemelli Hospital, where he is hospitalised for a respiratory infection, in Rome, Italy March 31, 2023. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane
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