Former Italian head of government Silvio Berlusconi has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Italian media reported on Wednesday citing sources from his party, Forza Italia. Silvio Berlusconi, who will be 84 at the end of the month, has tested positive twice but “he continues to work from his residence in Arcore”, near Milan, “where he will spend the period of planned isolation”, indicate these sources cited by the AGI agency. “He is asymptomatic”, assured his doctor, Alberto Zangrillo, also director of the Department of anesthesia and resuscitation of a large Milanese hospital, quoted by the daily site. La Repubblica.
Silvio Berlusconi had made a first test on August 25, on his return to Arcore from vacation in Sardinia where he owns a large luxury property, but the result was negative. The test was repeated later, with people he had met in Sardinia having been infected with Covid-19, including Flavio Briatore, an Italian businessman and ex-manager of the Benetton F1 team. “Le Billionnaire”, Flavio Briatore's VIP nightclub in Sardinia was closed in August, with six positive cases among its employees registered.
Silvio Berlusconi had left Milan at the end of February, when the Covid-19 epidemic began to rage in Italy, and had visited his property in Châteauneuf-Grasse, in the south-east of France. The number 2 of Forza Italia, Antonio Tajani, former president of the European Parliament, indicated at the time that doctors had ordered Silvio Berlusconi to protect himself against the infection, thus explaining his stay in France.
Messages of solidarity addressed to the former head of the Italian government were quick to come, coming from all sides, left and right. Matteo Salvini, leader of the League (far right) sent him his wishes for a speedy recovery, while Matteo Renzi, also a former Italian head of government but on the left, wished him “to return quickly” to the political arena.