Silvio Berlusconi has been hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19.
The Italian media-mogul-turned politician, who served three terms as the country’s prime minister, has been admitted to Milan’s San Raffaele clinic after he reportedly contracted the virus in Sardinia.
Berlusconi, who is 83, spent the night in hospital in Milan where he has been diagnosed with being in the early stages of double pneumonia, Italy’s ANSA news agency reported on Friday. He is not in intensive care, according to Sky Italia news.
Berlusconi had been quarantining in his residence at Arcore, after returning from a holiday Sardinia. His 30-year-old girlfriend, Marta Fascina, a politician with his conservative Forza Italia party, has also tested positive for coronavirus, as have his son Luigi and daughter Barbara, according to Italian press reports.
There is speculation in the Italian media that Berlusconi may have contracted the virus from either one of children or possibly from flamboyant Italian entrepreneur Flavio Briatore, a former Formula One team boss who owns Sardinia’s Billionaire nightclub, known for its wild disco parties packed with celebrities which has become a COVID-19 hotspot. Briatore, who has tested positive and was also hospitalized, visited Berlusconi at his villa in Sardinia.
Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party is vying for votes in six Italian regional elections later this month having formed a coalition with the country’s far-right League and Brothers of Italy forces.
Meanwhile his Mediaset TV group on Thursday was hit by a ruling that handed over a major victory to France’s Vivendi in their long running dispute.
The court said that an Italian law that had been forcing Vivendi to forfeit a portion of its voting rights connected to a stake they hold in Mediaset was against EU rules. Vivendi now has full voting rights for its 29% stake in Mediaset, which is 44% owned by the Berlusconi family.