Number of intensive care units (ICU) pre- and post-COVID-19 in Italy 2020

In 2020, hospitals in Italy counted a total of approximately 5.2 thousand intensive care units (ICU). These resources proved to be insufficient in facing the coronavirus outbreak which hit the country in the first half of 2020. Among many measures and projects announced by the government in order to face the pandemic and to restart the economy, an increase in the resources granted to the national health service was also included. More specifically, funds were granted to increase the number of ICUs in the future. Actually, during the fight against the coronavirus, many regions were already forced to increase the number of ICUs to accommodate the increasing number of patients.

Coronavirus in Italy

After entering Italy at the beginning of February 2020, the coronavirus spread fast across the country, reaching worrying peaks in April. The strict lockdown implemented by the government, however, bore fruit. In fact, the number of new infections decreased significantly since the beginning of May. The north of the country was hit particularly hard by the outbreak, and the region with the highest number of cases was Lombardy. Moreover, the virus in the country has hit mostly individuals older than 50 years.

A high fatality rate

The fact that the virus infected mostly older people might partly explain why the coronavirus death rate appears to be higher in Italy than in most other countries. However, one or more comorbidities were detected in the vast majority of the patients deceased after contracting the virus. This indicates that the coronavirus likely contributed to worsening the condition of individuals who were already in a precarious state of health.

Number of intensive care units (ICU) pre- and post-COVID-19 in Italy in 2020

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Release date

May 2020



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

* Number of ICUs planned in the decree law adopted to overcome the coronavirus crisis.

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Statistics on "Hospitals in Italy"

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