Pope expected to leave hospital on Saturday

Pope expected to leave hospital on Saturday A statue of St John Paul II is seen in the courtyard of Rome's Gemelli Hospital. Photo: OSN News

Pope Francis is expected to be discharged from Rome’s Gemelli Hospital tomorrow (Saturday) if his condition continues to improve, the Vatican has said.

The 86-year-old Pontiff was hospitalised on Wednesday after reportedly saying he had chest pain and difficulties breathing. He was diagnosed with bronchitis which is being treated by antibiotics. Doctors have ruled out concerns around his heart.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said on Friday morning that the Pope’s recovery has been “normal” and that the Pontiff ate pizza last night along with the medical staff and his security detail. He said the treatment had resulted in a “marked” improvement in the Pope’s condition.

The Italian news agency ANSA, quoting Vatican sources, said that Pope Francis wants to preside over Palm Sunday Mass this weekend but will be bound by the medical advice.