• Prevention and treatment
  • Protection devices
  • Surfaces and hygiene

What can I do to protect myself?

Here are the steps to take:

  • Always carry respiratory protection devices with you and wear them indoors and in all outdoor places when the condition of isolation from non-cohabiting people cannot be continuously guaranteed.
    The use of respiratory protection devices is strongly recommended even in private homes in the presence of non-cohabiting people.
    The following are exempted from the obligation to wear a mask:
    • those who are doing sports
    • children under the age of six
    • subjects with pathologies or disabilities incompatible with the use of the mask and those who interact with them.
  • Maintain an interpersonal safety distance of at least one meter.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or in the absence with hydroalcoholic solutions for hand washing.
  • Avoid crowded places, closed rooms with poor ventilation and close range.
  • Ensure good ventilation of enclosed spaces, including homes and offices.
  • Avoid hugs and handshakes.
  • Sneeze and cough into a handkerchief avoiding hand contact with respiratory secretions. Dispose of the handkerchief properly and proceed with hand hygiene.
  • Avoid mixed use of bottles and glasses, especially during sports.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands.
  • Do not take antiviral drugs and antibiotics, unless prescribed by your doctor.
  • Clean the surfaces with soap and water or common neutral detergents to remove dirt and then disinfect them with sodium hypochlorite solutions (bleach / bleach) or alcohol adequately diluted. 

If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing and you suspect that you have been in close contact with a person with Covid-19 respiratory disease:

  • stay at home, do not go to the emergency room or medical  offices but call the family doctor, pediatrician or medical guard, or call the  regional toll-free number . Use the emergency numbers 112/118 only in case of real need.

For further information, contact the Ministry of Health on the free public utility number 1500 , active 24/7.
Stay informed on the spread of the pandemic, available on  the WHO website  and on  the ministry website .Who can I contact for information on the correct behaviors to follow and the procedure to follow if I have had contact with positive people?

You can call the  free public utility number 1500  of the ministry or the toll-free number of the Italian Red Cross  800.065.510 activated for assistance to frail people . The operators also respond for information on the correct behavior to be respected and the procedure to follow in case of close contact with positive subjects. The requests include the intervention of doctors for initial telephone assistance and for the activation of hospital structures.

Also contact the toll-free number of your region: Regional toll-free numbers

What are the rules for hand disinfection / washing?

Hand washing is designed to ensure adequate hand cleaning and hygiene through a mechanical action.

For hand hygiene, ordinary soap is sufficient. In the absence of water, so-called alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be used.
If you use soap it is important to rub your hands for at least 40-60 seconds .
If soap is not available, use a hydroalcoholic solution for at least 20-30 seconds .
The products available on the market for the disinfection of hands in the absence of soap and water (medical-surgical aids and authorized biocides with microbicidal action) must be used when the hands are dry, otherwise they are not effective.

It is important to wash your hands:


  • taking drugs or giving drugs to others
  • touching eyes / nose / mouth (to smoke, use contact lenses, brush teeth, etc.)
  • to eat.

Before and after

  • having used the toilets
  • having touched a sick person
  • having treated or touched a wound
  • having changed a baby’s diaper
  • having touched an animal
  • having handled food, especially if it is raw.


  • having attended public places (shops, clinics, stations, gyms, schools, cinemas, buses, offices, etc.) and, in general, as soon as you return home
  • having handled the garbage
  • having used money.

It is also a good habit to cough / sneeze in the crook of the elbow, so as not to contaminate the hands, with which objects and surfaces can subsequently be contaminated, for example by touching the mobile phone, a door handle, etc.
It is also recommended to use disposable handkerchiefs to blow the nose, possibly eco-sustainable, and to dispose of them in the waste and wash your hands immediately after use.

Am I protected from COVID-19 if I got the flu shot this year?

The flu and the virus that causes COVID-19 are two different viruses, and the seasonal flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19.
Influenza vaccination is strongly recommended because it makes the differential diagnosis (i.e. the distinction between the two infections) easier and faster, leading to the earlier isolation of any coronavirus cases. 
Is the tuberculosis (TB) vaccine protective against COVID-19?

At present, there is no scientific evidence that the tuberculosis (TB) vaccine can provide protection against the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). This vaccine remains indicated in particular categories of the population at risk for these infections.Can Antibiotics Help Prevent New Coronavirus Infection?

No, antibiotics are not effective against viruses, they only work against bacterial infections.Is it necessary to continue with the normal vaccination activities foreseen by the vaccination schedule?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF it is essential to keep vaccination appointments, especially for routine vaccinations. During vaccination appointments, it is recommended to observe prevention measures for COVID-19.

In this regard, the Ministry of Health on 30 July 2020 issued the circular ‘ Impact of the COVID-19 emergency on vaccination activities – analysis of the phenomenon and operational recommendations ‘.What are the recommendations for people in home isolation?

  • The person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection should stay away from other family members, if possible, in a well-ventilated single room and should not receive visits.
  • The carer must be in good health and have no diseases that put him at risk if infected.
  • Family members must stay in other rooms or, if this is not possible, keep a distance of at least 1 meter from the sick person and sleep in a different bed.
  • Caregivers must wear a surgical mask carefully placed on the face when in the same room. If the mask is wet or soiled by secretions it is necessary to replace it immediately and wash your hands after removing it.
  • Hands should be carefully washed with soap and water or a hydroalcoholic solution after each contact with the patient or with his surroundings, before and after preparing food, before eating, after using the bathroom and every time the hands appear dirty. 

These are just some of the many recommendations contained in a  guide created by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità  and summarized in 21 points in a   downloadable poster .

To know more

  • Ministerial Circular November 30, 2020 – Home management of patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection .

Is there a treatment for the new Coronavirus?

At present, there is no specific treatment for the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

Treatment remains mainly based on a symptomatic approach, providing supportive therapies (e.g. oxygen therapy) to infected people.

Based also on the experiences gained at national and international level, therapeutic and clinical management protocols have been defined.

The treatment is based on differentiated approaches:

  • drugs with potential antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2
  • drugs with prophylactic / therapeutic activity against thrombotic manifestations
  • drugs capable of modulating the immune response
  • plasma infusions aimed at a transfer of neutralizing antibodies

It should be remembered that, even today, there are large margins of uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of some drugs and clinical trials continue to find more effective drugs.

To know more

  • page dedicated  to drugs made available for COVID-19 patients on the website of the Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA)
  • document Prevention and response to COVID-19: evolution of strategy and planning in the transition phase for the autumn-winter period (pages 40-48).

What are the recommendations for family members caring for people in home isolation for suspected or confirmed COVID-19?

  • The person who cares for the Covid-19 patient must be in good health, have no diseases that put him at risk, wear a surgical mask carefully placed on the face when in the same room as the patient.
  • Hands should be carefully washed with soap and water or a hydroalcoholic solution after each contact with the patient or with his surroundings, before and after preparing food, before eating, after using the bathroom and every time the hands appear dirty.
  • Crockery, cutlery, towels and sheets must be dedicated exclusively to the sick person. They must be washed often with water and detergent at 60-90 ° C.
  • Surfaces frequently touched by the sick person should be cleaned and disinfected every day.
  • If the sick person gets worse or has difficulty breathing, call 112/118 immediately.

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