Italy’s former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, has been admitted to hospital with double pneumonia after testing positive for coronavirus.
Mr Berlusconi, who will be 84 later this month, was admitted to San Raffaele Hospital in Milan on Friday as a precautionary measure.
He has not been admitted into intensive care.
After a CT scan found that he has early-stage double pneumonia, one of his top aides, Lucia Ronzulli, said he “passed the night well”.
Double pneumonia, which is the inflammation of both lungs, is a complication of COVID-19 – the disease is typically more severe among the elderly and those who have other medical conditions.
Before his hospitalisation, Mr Berlusconi had said he was only experiencing a fever along with some muscle and bone pain, adding: “But it passed.”
Italian media have reported that he will be isolating in a floor of the hospital set aside for VIPs.
Mr Berlusconi has suffered from several medical issues in the past, including prostate cancer and heart problems which saw him undergo heart surgery in 2016.
Both his girlfriend and two children tested positive for coronavirus. After he tested positive, he said he realised “more than ever how grave” the pandemic is.
He added: “I’m aware of how much sorrow it has sowed in so many families, of how much pain it has caused so many people.
“I think of all those who aren’t here any more, I think of those who lost their loved ones.”
He is said to have spent his summer at his villa on Sardinia’s Emerald Coast. Many of Italy’s recent coronavirus cases have been linked to clusters of people holidaying in Sardinia.
The former Italian PM has said he will keep campaigning for upcoming regional elections for the centre-right party, Forza Italia, which he created more than 25 years ago.
Regional elections will be held on 21-22 September, after being postponed due to the pandemic.
Mr Berlusconi, who has served as Italy’s PM four times, lost his senate seat in 2013 after being convicted of tax fraud.
Last year he was appointed as a lawmaker at the European Parliament.
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