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Pope Francis: Health improving after night in hospital

NNA - Pope Francis' health is improving after he was taken to hospital with a respiratory condition, the Vatican has confirmed. 

He was admitted to Gemelli Hospital on Wednesday, for what was initially said to be a scheduled check-up.

In a statement on Thursday, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said treatment for the 86-year-old pontiff was continuing. 

"His Holiness Pope Francis rested well during the night," he said.

"This morning after breakfast, he read some newspapers and resumed work." 

He added that he then went to the chapel of the hospital, where he prayed and received the Eucharist.

Mr Bruni did not say when the Pope might leave Rome's Gemelli hospital. The Vatican said on Wednesday he was expected to spend a "few days" there.

His closest staff, including security, spent the night with him, a person with direct knowledge told the BBC.

This is the busiest time of the year for Pope Francis, with many events and services scheduled ahead of Easter weekend.

Palm Sunday Mass takes place this weekend, with Holy Week and Easter celebrations following next week.

Italian news agency Ansa reported nurses were optimistic he would be out of hospital in time for Palm Sunday.

It added tests had ruled out heart problems and pneumonia.

In an earlier statement, the Vatican confirmed he was not suffering from Covid-19. 

The Argentine pontiff marked 10 years as head of the Catholic Church earlier this month. He has suffered a number of health issues throughout his life, including having part of one of his lungs removed at age 21.

While keeping a busy schedule and travelling widely, he has for the past year used a wheelchair because of knee pain and admitted last summer he had to slow down.--BBC 

 

 

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