Former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi in hospital with Covid-19

Associates say Mr Berlusconi is not seriously ill after announcing on Wednesday he had tested positive for the coronavirus

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Italy's former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has been taken to hospital after testing positive for the coronavirus earlier this week.

The 83-year-old is not in intensive care and was taken to the San Raffaele hospital in Milan as a precaution, said his associates.

Licia Ronzulli, a Senator with Berlusconi's Forza Italia party, said the former prime minister “spent the night in hospital to check on his condition ... but he is fine.”

Mr Berlusconi announced on Wednesday that he had tested positive for Covid-19. Two of his children, Barbara, 36, and Luigi, 31, have also contracted the virus, as has his companion, Marta Fascina.

Mr Berlusconi said on Wednesday that he would continue his political activities. "I will be present in the electoral campaign with interviews on televisions and in newspapers," he said during a video conference of Forza Italia's women's movement.

Regional elections are due to take place in two weeks as well as a referendum on reducing the number of Italian parliamentarians.

Mr Berlusconi is believed to have been infected while on holiday on Sardinia's famous jet-set Emerald Coast playground.

Some people he met on the Mediterranean island, including Italian businessman and former Benetton Formula One racing team managing director Flavio Briatore, also tested positive, according to Italian news reports.