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Pope leaves hospital after being treated for respiratory infection

Rome CNN  — 

Pope Francis has left a hospital in Rome where he spent the past few days being treated for a respiratory infection.

He spoke to journalists and members of the media as he departed on Saturday morning.

The 86-year-old was taken to Gemelli hospital on Wednesday and was given antibiotics to treat infectious bronchitis.

The pontiff – who as a young man suffered from severe pneumonia and had part of a lung removed – has had a recent history of medical issues.

He has often been seen with a walking stick and sometimes uses a wheelchair due to pain in his right knee. Last year, he canceled a trip to Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan after doctors said he might also have to miss a later trip to Canada unless he agreed to have 20 more days of therapy and rest for his knee. He ultimately went to the DRC and South Sudan in February.

Francis also suffers from diverticulitis, a common condition that can cause the inflammation or infection of the colon. In 2021, he had surgery to remove part of his colon.

The Pope is expected to participate in a Palm Sunday Mass service in St Peter’s Square, the Vatican says.