Coronavirus live news: no widespread vaccination until mid-2021, says WHO; Berlusconi hospitalised in Milan

Here’s a little more on Silvio Berlusconi being admitted to hospital.

The former Italian premier, who has history of heart and other medical problems, was admitted to a Milan hospital early Friday as a precaution to monitor his coronavirus infection, a top aide has said.

Senator Lucia Ronzulli told RAI state TV that the media mogul, 83, who tested positive for Covid-19 earlier in the week, was doing well. She said he was undergoing precautionary monitoring of his infection.

“He passed the night well,’’ she said.

Press and cameramen gather outside the villa of Silvio Berlusconi’s Villa San Martino in Arcore, north-east of Milan, on Thursday. Photograph: Matteo Corner/EPA

State radio later said Berlusconi was admitted to San Raffaele hospital, where his private doctor is based, shortly after midnight.

Sky TG24, reporting from outside the hospital, said Berlusconi had the beginnings of pneumonia and was given an oxygen mask to aid breathing. Italian media have stressed Berlusconi is not in intensive care. Sky also said he arrived by private car, walked into the hospital, where he had a CT scan early Friday shortly after arrival.

On Thursday, Berlusconi, speaking in a strong but somewhat nasal voice from his estate on the outskirts of Milan, told his supporters he no longer had fever or pain.

Italian media have said two of his adult children also were recently diagnosed with coronavirus and are self-isolating.

Unfortunately this isn’t a cold,’’ La Stampa newspaper said Berlusconi told the daily on Thursday. “Now it touches me but not only me, but also my family I realise more than ever how grave [the pandemic is].

“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,’’ the Turin daily quoted Berlusconi as saying.

Berlusconi has a history of serious medical problems. In 1997, he successfully battled prostate cancer, including by surgery. In 2006, he had heart tests at San Raffaele after fainting during a speech. A few weeks later he was fitted with a pacemaker at a U.S. hospital.

He also has had bowel surgery for an obstruction and suffered an inflammatory eye condition in the past.

Berlusconi spent some of his summer vacation at his seaside villa on Sardinia’s Emerald Coast. Many of Italy’s recent cases of coronavirus have been linked to clusters in people who vacationed on Sardinia.

29 August, 2020.

Tourists wear protective masks in front of the entrance to Phi beach on the Costa Smeralda, which was to close early due to coronavirus. Photograph: Emanuele Perrone/Getty Images

According to Italian media, at the urging of family members, he spent a few weeks at another one of his villas, in France, early in Italy’s coronavirus outbreak, which was particularly devastating in Lombardy, where Berlusconi’s home and business empire is based.

On Thursday, the three-time former premier vowed to keep campaigning in upcoming regional elections in Italy for the center-right party, Forza Italia, that he created more than 25 years ago. The party has steadily lost popularity with voters in recent years as Berlusconi battled legal problems linked to his media business and his famed “bunga bunga” parties.

After being convicted of tax fraud in 2013, Berlusconi had to surrender his senate seat. He is currently a lawmaker in the European parliament.

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