Medical tests on Pope John Paul have given satisfactory results but he could spend the next week in hospital. That was the message from a Vatican spokesman, who has visited the pontiff this morning. Struggling to be heard in the midst of the media frenzy that has engulfed Rome’s Gemelli Hospital, Joaquin Navarro-Valls told reporters that the pope had rested well all night. Those surrounding the 84-year-old are doing their utmost to assure the world’s Catholics that their leader’s health is improving. But, because of his age and frailty, anxiety about his condition remains.
He was rushed to hospital late on Tuesday after a bout of influenza deteriorated, causing him to suffer severe breathing difficulties. As dawn broke over Rome, the pope’s welfare was the big talking point. And at the main flower market, traders were doing brisk business. “We hope that these flowers can go to the Pope,” said one stall holder. “Now that he is ill, they would be a nice present for him.” Well-wishers were buying bouquets to symbolise their hopes for the pope’s recovery. Among the best-selling floral arrangements were those in yellow and white – the colours of the Vatican.