INTRODUCTION: The health of Pope John Paul is again improving according to Vatican sources.
GV Gemelli Hospital Exterior view. (2 SHOTS)
SV Window of Pope's room.
SV Three nuns entering hospital.
GV INT People in hall including security guard with rifle. (2 SHOTS)
St. Peter's Square CU Photograph of Pope ZOOM OUT TO people buying newspapers with news of Pope.
SV Polish Choir singing in St. Peter's Square. (nice sound).
GV ZOOM OUT FROM Vatican window as Pope's voice is relayed to crowds in square and people listening to the recording, people praying and clapping. (2 SHOTS)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The health of Pope John Paul is again improving according to Vatican sources. It is nearly two months since the Pope was first hospitalised after being shot by a would-be assassin. He seemed to make a quick recovery, but had only been home at the Vatican for three weeks before his health suffered a setback and he returned to the Gemelli Hospital in Rome.
SYNOPSIS: The Pope returned suddenly to the hospital on the 20th of June because he had a high fever and was found to be suffering from a virus infection.
Again the hospital was inundated with visits and messages from well wishers concerned about the Pontiff's illness. However a hospital spokesman said at no stage was the Pope's life in danger, and at the weekend (4 July) an official bulletin announced his general condition was "notably better with progressive recovery of his physical activity".
In St. Peter's Square special news bulletins kept the crowds posted. They must have been heartened at the announcement by the hospital's medical director, Professor Emilio Tresali, that the Pope was in good condition, and could leave hospital soon.
On Sunday (5 July) more than 8,000 pilgrims and tourists gathered in the square. Among them was a group from Poland, the Pope's native country, who sang their greetings.
Although the Pope was not able to make his Sunday appearance the faithful were rewarded by a recorded message and blessing from the Holy Father.
It was the first time the Pope had chanted his weekly, public blessing since he was wounded in May. Vatican Radio said the firm, clear voice of the recorded message was the strongest indication yet that the Pope's health was on the mend.