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Pope Francis hospitalized due to respiratory infection

The Vatican has reported that Pope Francis has been hospitalized because of a respiratory infection and pointed out that it is not COVID-19. The pope has been admitted to Gemelli hospital in Rome after facing respiratory issues for several days. It has been reported that in order to recover, Pope Francis needs to stay at the hospital for a number of days for receiving proper treatment. Previously, when the pope was young, a part of his lung had been removed due to respiratory troubles. Before being admitted to the hospital, Pope Francis had his weekly general audience that takes place at St. Peter’s Square.

Religion News Service reports:

ROME (RNS) — Pope Francis has been admitted to Rome’s Gemelli hospital due to a respiratory infection, the Vatican said, clarifying that it was not COVID-19 but it would “require several days of appropriate medical treatment at the hospital.”

In a statement released Wednesday evening (March 29), Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said that for several days, the pope has “complained of respiratory difficulties” and was admitted Wednesday afternoon to the hospital for a scheduled medical checkup, which revealed the infection.

Pope Francis, Bruni added, “is touched by the many messages he’s received and expresses his gratitude for the support and prayers.”

Francis, who as a young man had part of a lung removed due to a respiratory infection, seemed in good spirits Wednesday morning as he began the day with his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square. However, after several news outlets reported the pope being taken to the hospital in an ambulance, Bruni released a statement saying the “Holy Father went to Gemelli for some previously scheduled check-ups.”

The skepticism was swift, with several local news outlets noting Francis had abruptly canceled his appointments for the next few days, including a meeting with Archbishop Paul R. Gallagher, the Vatican foreign minister, and an interview with the Italian religious program, “A Sua Immagine” (“In His Image”).

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