Pope Francis has a respiratory infection and will need to spend “a few days” in hospital for treatment, the Vatican said in a statement, writes The Guardian.
The statement said the 86-year-old pontiff had complained of breathing difficulties in recent days. It added that tests showed he did not have Covid-19.
“Pope Francis is touched by the many messages received and expresses his gratitude for the closeness and prayer”, - the Vatican said.
The statement came hours after Francis was unexpectedly taken to hospital for tests. The Vatican initially said the check-up had been scheduled, but Italian media questioned that, saying a TV interview with the pope set for Wednesday afternoon had been cancelled at the last moment.
Earlier in the day, the pope attended his weekly general audience at the Vatican and had appeared in good health.