Pope Francis has been diagnosed with a respiratory infection and will require “a few days of appropriate hospital medical treatment”, the Vatican said on Wednesday, Rome time.
The 86-year-old was admitted to Rome’s Gemelli hospital for checks earlier in the day after complaining of breathing difficulties, spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement.
The Vatican had previously said he head been in hospital for scheduled check ups.
The statement said that the Pope did not have Covid-19.
“Pope Francis is touched by the many messages received and expresses his gratitude for the closeness and prayer,” the statement added.
With Easter approaching, the Vatican will be hoping it’s only a brief stay in hospital for the octogenarian.
Earlier on Wednesday, it had been business as usual for the Ppoe with Francis conducting his weekly audience at the Vatican’s St Peter’s’s Square.
Later in the day, however, he was seen in a wheelchair being lifted into his Popemobile car. Francis has used a wheelchair recently due to an issue with his knee. He received surgery for a colon issue at the Gemelli hospital in 2021.