Doctors worried about Pope Francis’ recent flu-like symptoms advised him to postpone his journey to Dubai for the COP28 climate negotiations, according to the Vatican.
According to the Vatican, the flu-like symptoms were determined to be influenza and lung inflammation. On Friday, the 86-year-old Pope was scheduled to start a three-day tour. The Vatican had announced earlier on Tuesday that he intended to proceed with the trip in spite of feeling under the weather over the weekend.
“Although the Holy Father’s general clinical picture has improved with regard to his flu-like condition and inflammation of the respiratory tract, doctors have asked the Pope not to make the trip planned for the coming days to Dubai,” Matteo Bruni, the Vatican’s spokesperson, said in a statement. “Pope Francis accepted the doctors’ request with great regret and the trip is therefore cancelled,” stated Bruni. The pope still wished to participate in talks in Dubai, according to Bruni, who had just hours before informed a briefing that he would be present.
Francis, who will turn 87 in December, has experienced a number of medical problems recently, including hip and knee pain, an inflammatory colon, and, most recently, hernia surgery in June. He postponed engagements on Saturday because of what the Vatican said as “light flu symptoms”. It stated that “risks of pulmonary complications” had been ruled out by a CT scan.
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Pope Francis was supposed to address nations in Dubai for their inaction on climate change and try to get them to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases.