Doctors say Pope Francis can be discharged from hospital April 1

Pope Francis gives a chocolate Easter egg to a patient in the pediatric oncology ward of Rome's Gemelli hospital March 31. The Vatican said the pope spent about half an hour on the ward the afternoon before he was scheduled to be released from Gemelli after being treated for bronchitis. (CNS photo/Holy See Press Office)

ROME (CNS) — The medical team at Rome’s Gemelli hospital, after evaluating the results of Pope Francis’ latest tests, confirmed he can be discharged April 1.

The 86-year-old pope had been showing continued and “marked” improvement for what tests revealed was a case of bronchitis, after he was admitted to the hospital the afternoon of March 29 for breathing difficulties.  The pope was treated with intravenous antibiotics for the respiratory infection that was not COVID-19.

Pope Francis used his final full day in the hospital, March 31, to visit children hospitalized in the oncology ward and to confer the sacrament of baptism on a tiny infant named Miguel Angel. The pope wrote out by hand the baptismal certificate.

The evening before, the pope enjoyed a pizza “party” with staff on his second night at Rome’s Gemelli hospital.

Matteo Bruni, head of the press office, confirmed the 86-year-old pope’s “presence” at the Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square April 2.

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