Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been admitted to a hospital in Milan with symptoms of COVID-19 after testing positive this week.
The 83-year-old leader of the Forza Italia party had been isolating at his home near the Italian financial capital. His admission to the San Raffaele clinic is a precautionary measure and Berlusconi’s medical condition is not a cause for concern, a spokeswoman for the media mogul said Friday.
Berlusconi, who controls Mediaset SpA, Italy’s largest commercial broadcaster, recently returned from vacation on the island of Sardinia and is campaigning ahead of Sept. 20-21 regional and local elections. Italians will also vote in a referendum on cutting the number of lawmakers in the Rome parliament.
Italy, the original epicenter of the pandemic in Europe, reported 1,397 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, taking the total to 272,912, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The number of daily infections has ticked up in recent weeks, though remains far below the levels seen at the height of the crisis in the spring.
Health Minister Roberto Speranza has ruled out imposing a new nationwide lockdown as the country struggles to emerge from the worst recession in living memory.