'Cautious but reasonable optimism' over Berlusconi's health, doctor says

MILAN (Reuters) – Italy’s former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is in a stable condition two days after being hospitalised with the coronavirus, his doctor said on Saturday.

“This instils cautious but reasonable optimism,” Alberto Zangrillo said in a brief statement.

Berlusconi, 83, tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday and was taken to Milan’s San Raffaele hospital the following day after developing a slight fever. A subsequent x-ray revealed that he had developed mild pneumonia in both lungs.

Zangrillo, who stirred controversy in May when he said coronavirus was losing its potency, told reporters he had decided to hospitalise Berlusconi as a precautionary measure given his age and previous health problems.

The media tycoon underwent major heart surgery in 2016 and has also survived prostrate cancer.

Shares in the media company controlled by the Berlusconi family, Mediaset, rose as much as 11.7% on Friday with traders saying the market was speculating about potential ownership changes at the group if Berlusconi’s health worsens.

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