Italy’s former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi left hospital on Friday after spending 24 days under medical supervision due to alleged long-term effects of Covid-19.
Berlusconi, who is 84, was seriously ill with Covid-19 last year, an experience described by the media billionaire as the “worst of his life”.
Last September, Berlusconi, who led three Italian governments between 1994 and 2011, was hospitalised with the early stages of double pneumonia after testing positive for coronavirus.
After a few days, the media tycoon became critically ill as doctors said he had “the worst viral load”.
“[The virus] is very bad,” Berlusconi said at the time. “I’m giving it my all, I hope to make it and to get back on track.”
Last year, Berlusconi was tested for Covid-19 after a stay at his villa on Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda, where several coronavirus clusters that emerged in August were traced to nightclubs, including Billionaire, owned by the former Formula One team boss Flavio Briatore. On 12 August, Briatore shared a video of the two together at Berlusconi’s villa. Briatore was also admitted to San Raffaele hospital for a few days in late August after contracting the virus.
Berlusconi was eventually discharged from hospital 10 days after overcoming what he considered ‘’perhaps the most dangerous challenge of my life”.
Doctors acknowledged most Italians in his condition did not survive the virus.
After his discharge from hospital, Berlusconi, who had heart surgery in 2016 and uses a pacemaker, urged Italians to adhere to mask mandates, social distancing norms and frequent handwashing.
However, early in April, following a series of scheduled medical check-ups, doctors decided to hospitalise him again in order to conduct more tests due to alleged long-term effects of Covid.
His hospitalisation was first announced by his lawyer during a hearing in Milan linked to his long-running “bunga bunga” sex scandal, a part of the latest prong of the investigation into Berlusconi’s alleged relationship with an underage girl, Karima El-Mahroug, dubbed “Ruby the heart-stealer”.
Prosecutors are investigating alleged payments to witnesses by Berlusconi to buy their silence over his so-called “bunga bunga” parties.
According to media reports, Berlusconi is now back home, in his villa in Arcore, north of Milan.