We are working around the world to fight this pandemic.
COVID-19: Here is what we are doing.
EMERGENCY has given the authorities all the help it can to manage the coronavirus outbreak.
We have put our expertise in treating patients in the midst of epidemics, honed in Sierra Leone in the Ebola outbreak of 2014 and 2015, at the disposal of the health authorities.
We are keeping in contact with other authorities in other Italian regions, to see whether we can give them a hand at this difficult time.
Our projects around the world
In all our projects around the world, we have activated specific protocols to prepare for the arrival of the virus, even in countries not affected by the pandemic so far. Through specific staff training, the formation of triage areas, and the compartmentalisation of spaces and patient flows, we will be able to intercept suspected cases, report them to the health authority responsible, and minimise the risk of infection within our facilities.
Information and prevention among minority groups
Our cultural mediators have recorded short videos in different languages, so that even at distance everyone can be updated on what action must be taken to prevent further outbreak. Even a tutorial that circulates via WhatsApp can encourage virtuous and responsible behaviour!
Our projects in Italy
Milan, Rome, Piacenza, Naples, Catanzaro, Catania, Varese: 200,000 parcels delivered to people in difficulty with ‘Nobody Left Behind’
Since May 2020, thanks to collaborating local organisations and more than 1,000 volunteers from EMERGENCY, we delivered 200,000 parcels to over 20,000 people affected by the social crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The parcels contained food and hygiene products: essential goods enabled those who had lost their economic income to cope with the crisis.
As the situation gradually, albeit very slowly, improved, we were able to wind down the projects in Rome, Catanzaro, Catania, Piacenza and Varese in December 2021.
It continues, however, in Milan for about 2,000 recipients of food aid parcels, which forms the foundational starting point of a new project that concretely supports those who have slipped through the cracks of the public and private social aid network.
In December 2021, the objectives of the project were transformed: alongside food aid – offered at a time when the aid system was in enormous difficulty – we found it necessary to do our part by committing ourselves to a social intervention:
In mid-January 2022, following an increase in COVID-19 infections, the Municipality of Milan’s project ‘Milano Aiuta’ resumed its service and EMERGENCY once more provided support after being requested to help.
‘Milano Aiuta’ is a network of aid and services that includes a free delivery service of drugs, food, basic necessities and prescriptions. These are delivered to people who have tested positive for covid-19, are in quarantine, are old or suffer from immune-compromising conditions and therefore at risk of being outside and cannot leave their homes, and to those who, without help, would find themselves excluded from essential services.
EMERGENCY’s volunteers, in compliance with current contagion-prevention rules, have been delivering groceries, medicines, primary goods and prescriptions to vulnerable people who cannot leave their homes and need help, whose information has been collected by the operators of the municipality’s switchboard which are communicated to us daily.
The service was first launched on 13 March 2020, during the first national lockdown, and replicated at the end of October 2020. The first phase, which ended in June, involved 320 volunteers from EMERGENCY and the Volunteer EMERGENCY Brigades who delivered 60 tonnes of food and basic necessities and made 6,370 home shopping deliveries, helping over 3,000 households, with an average of over 100 deliveries per day.
Our support at the Reception Centres
Monitoring the centers dedicated to homeless, unaccompanied foreign minors (MSNA) and in those included in the Siproimi system (formerly SPRAR) reported by the Municipality of Milan.
The project is carried out in collaboration with the Municipality of Milan.
In Calabria: our collaboration with the local Civil Protection
Between December 2020 and mid-February 2021, our medical staff worked at the Covid-2 department of the San Giovanni di Dio hospital in Crotone, managing a department of 25 beds in the hospital structure plus, other 8 beds in the ward in the field hospital, ready for further COVID-19 necessities.
We remain at the disposal of the Regional Commissioner and of the Civil Protection in case of further need in the near future.
EMERGENCY carries on the activities in Polistena. We run a clinic in a building confiscated from the ’Ndrangheta. Here we look after the most vulnerable people in the area who cannot get treatment elsewhere. EMERGENCY will start doing swab tests in Polistena this week at the mayor’s request.
In Polistena, from mid-November to mid-December 2020, we were also active with a rapid swab service for the most vulnerable people in the area and those most at risk from the virus.
In Camerino, from the end of April and July 2020, we launched a psychological support initiative for health workers, former coronavirus patients and families of people still suffering from the disease.
From May to July 2020 we supported project at state-run care homes – among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 medical crisis in Italy – where we provide training, advice and monitoring to protect the health of both their residents and their staff.
With a team made up of a nurse, a logistician and an EMERGENCY doctor, we carried out inspections and monitoring interventions, providing health and logistic consultancy and sharing specific protocols on sanitation, prevention, management of dirty-clean flow, compartmentalization measures, correct management of spaces, sanitation of environments, prompt observation of guests, detection of symptoms compatible with Covid-19 and isolation of positive cases.
The project was run in collaboration with the regional government of Piedmont and Confindustria Piemonte.
A service thought for people who are over 65, lonely, who quarantined themselves, vulnerable and at risk of movement: the health emergency caused by COVID-19 has forced people within the walls of their homes for many weeks. For some, more than others, it meant complete isolation and impossibility to carry on with most of the ordinary habits such as going to the supermarket, going to the pharmacy or finding basic and important items. In several Italian cities, we have worked hard with a network of volunteers throughout the country to make up for the isolation of people, by activating a free delivery service of goods, medicines and basic items. In accordance with all the preventive measures against risks of COVID-19 contagion throughout our activity, we have shortened distances, coming out all together stronger than before.
In Bergamo, an EMERGENCY team made up of 80 medical and logistical staff worked at the Intensive Care Unit at the Field Hospital in Bergamo, operated by the Papa Giovanni XXIII hospital.
EMERGENCY helped to construct the facility alongside approximately 300 volunteers, including artisans from the city (carpenters, electricians, plasterers, plumbers and painters), 150 volunteers from Sanità Alpina, and 40 from the logistics department of the Ana Civil Protection.
On 26 May, medical work at the Field Hospital drew to a close. The facility was turned into a clinic for follow-up checks on patients with the virus in need of monitoring.
We worked with the Health Department at Brescia hospital to protect healthcare personnel and the hospital from contagion.
In our other projects in Italy
We go on working at our clinics in Italy, using a triage method to identify patients with symptoms that could point to the virus. We will also continue providing information, consultations and direct them to the services they need, all for the good of public health.
What we can all do
Every one of us can help right now to halt the spread of the virus, by following the medical authorities’ instructions to the letter. Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, keep a sensible distance from other people and avoid going out and having contact with them unless absolutely necessary.
Please do pay attention to advice published by the WHO and local health authorities.
Everyone must play their part if we are to protect society as a whole.
We want to tell you more about how EMERGENCY has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.
EMERGENCY’s COVID-19 response activities have also been made possible thanks to Caritatis Stiftung (Liechtenstein).