Former prime minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi has announced that he has the coronavirus.

The current leader of the Forza Italia party is holed up in his home in Arcore, Lombardy where he is expected to spend a period of isolation.

According to Italian publication Ansa Berlusconi will continue to support his party's candidates in the upcoming regional and administrative elections via daily interviews from his home.

News of the politician's illness was confirmed by his party and his doctor Alberto Zangrillo, who is head of anesthesia and resuscitation at the San Raffaele hospital in Milan, Blog Sicilia reported.

The Forza Italia leader is currently asymptomatic
The Forza Italia leader is currently asymptomatic

The doctor said that Berlusconi was asymptomatic and that he tested positive today.

The Italian media mogul was prime minister of Italy for four governments from 1994 to 2011.

In 2018, Forbes magazine ranked him as the 190th richest man in the world with a net worth of £6billion.

The 84-year-old has previously had problems with his heart
The 84-year-old has previously had problems with his heart

The 84-year-old, who owns A.C Millan, was sentenced to four years imprisonment in 2013 for tax fraud, although he was only required to carry out community service.

On 7 June 2016, Berlusconi was taken to the San Raffaele with heart problems.

Two days later Dr Zangrillo announced that he had had a stroke which could have killed him.

Berlusconi underwent surgery to replace a defective aortic valve.