Italy COVID-19 Response Appeal

medical staff wearing PPE in the back of ambulance with patient

COVID-19 Outbreak

Late last year, a new virus emerged in China, quickly making its way around the globe. In Italy, the first outbreak was declared on February 21st. The situation was worsening every day. Hospitals quickly filled up. Elderly and vulnerable individuals were forced to cope with the deadly disease without being able to see their families. Many people lost their lives. Thankfully, today there is a reduction in the spread of the virus since its peak levels, but the crisis is not over.

Red Cross Response

The Italian Red Cross has been on the ground since the very beginning of the emergency. Red Cross ambulance teams are working on the front lines in major outbreak areas, transporting and treating patients, and contributing significantly to the prevention and control of the virus.
In addition, Italian Red Cross teams are lending a helping hand to those who are especially vulnerable to the disease, such as the elderly or immunocompromised, by providing them with necessities like groceries and medications right to their doorstep.
Since the beginning of the emergency until the end of June, the Italian Red Cross has carried out over 1,000 hours of high-biocontainment transport and provided over 10,000 emergency transports. 

The Italian Red Cross is actively procuring specialized materials and vehicles such as ambulances, high-biocontainment stretchers, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as well as training their volunteers and employees on the proper use of PPE.  
A high-biocontainment stretcher allows for the safe transportation of COVID-19 patients requiring medical attention. The isolated chamber is kept at a negative pressure relative to the surrounding area to prevent any leakage of the virus.

The Canadian and Italian Red Cross also shared best practices on responding to the virus, through virtual sessions that included members of the Canadian medical community.


Thanks to the generosity of individuals, corporations and governments, the Canadian Red Cross has raised more than $814,000 for the Italy COVID-19 Response Appeal.

How funds are being used 

Funds from the Italy COVID-19 Response Appeal will help Italy be ready for the possibility of further major outbreaks of COVID-19 by strengthening its ability to carry out emergency transports in high-biocontainment.

5 new ambulances equipped with high-biocontainment stretchers

In order to save more lives and help contain the spread of COVID-19, the Italian Red Cross will continue to provide medical transportation of people who have been diagnosed or suspected of having COVID-19 to the hospital.
The ambulances that our generous donors have provided will strengthen and give continuity to the emergency services offered by the Italian Red Cross. They will also help prepare for and respond to future large-scale health emergencies.
The ambulances are equipped with high-biocontainment stretchers, which help protect medical workers from contracting the virus. They are also equipped with specialized medical equipment such as respirators and oxygen cylinders. Further, medical workers will be provided with Personal Protective equipment such as masks and biocontainment kits.
The ambulances will be deployed where they are needed most in Italy.