Pope Francis has been hospitalized with a respiratory infection, a Vatican spokesman said

Rome, Italy (CNN) Pope Francis He has a respiratory infection and will need to spend “a few days” in hospital, the Vatican said in a statement on Wednesday.

The 86-year-old pontiff was taken to a hospital in Rome with some breathing problems, the report said. The tests conducted revealed that he was negative for Covid-19.

“Pope Francis complained of some respiratory problems in recent days. This afternoon he went to the Policlinico A. Gemelli for some medical tests,” Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement.

“The result showed a respiratory infection (other than a covid-19 infection) that would require a few days of appropriate hospital medical treatment.”

The Vatican initially said the pope had gone to Rome’s Gemelli Hospital for pre-scheduled tests. Shortly thereafter, his schedule for Thursday was cleared “to accommodate, if necessary, the continuation of trials,” it said.

Earlier, the Pope, who attended the weekly Mass in St. Peter’s Square, appeared to be in good health.

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

This is a growing story

CNN’s Delia Gallagher reported in Rome and Sharon Braithwaite in London.

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