One million 482,000 people have encountered the virus (2.5% of the entire population from zero years upwards).

These data were presented on August 3rd, at 5 pm, during a press conference held at the Auditorium of the Ministry in Lungotevere Ripa, Rome, with the presence of the Italian Minister of Health Roberto Speranza, the President of ISTAT, Gian Carlo Blangiardo, ISTAT Central Director, Linda Laura Sabbadini, the President of the CSS, Franco Locatelli, the National President of the Italian Red Cross, Francesco Rocca. 64,660 seroprevalence tests on SARS-CoV-2 were carried out from May 25 to  July 15.

"Thanks to the remarkable work of Istat and the Red Cross, and to the availability of 65,000 Italians, today we were able to present the data collected through the seroprevalence survey. According to our research, 2.5% of Italians have come into contact with the virus.

This data, alongside with the other data collected, confirm that the precaution and containment measures adopted by our government and the correct behaviour of our citizens have indeed limited the spread of the contagion. However, we must not let our guard down. Even if we are out of the storm, we are not yet in a safe harbour" stated the Minister, Roberto Speranza.

Data summary

There is a strong territorial diversity, which confirms Lombardy ranking first, in terms of the number of positive virus cases (7.5%), while all the Southern Regions remain below 1%. Healthcare workers have been the most affected, with regional differences. Intra-family transmission has been extremely high, but, if precautionary measures are taken, the infection may not occur, which was the case for 60% of the population, who had live-in family members affected by Covid-19. The presence of asymptomatic patients was high (27.3%), highlighting the importance of following the recommended prevention rules.

The seroprevalence survey initiated by the Ministry and Istat

On  May 25, The Ministry of Health and ISTAT, with the collaboration of the Italian Red Cross, launched an investigation of seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection, to understand how many people in our country had developed antibodies against the new coronavirus, even in the absence of symptoms.

The test was aimed at a sample of 150,000 people living in 2,000 municipalities, sorted by gender, activity and six age groups. In the event of a positive diagnosis, the person concerned was given a nose-pharyngeal swab to verify the possible state of contagiousness.

Aims of the survey

The survey obtained information necessary to estimate the size and extent of the infection in the population and describe its frequency in relation to certain factors, such as gender, age, region, economic activity.

The results of the survey, disseminated anonymously and in aggregated form, may also be used for other scientific studies and for comparative analysis with other European countries.

The selected individuals were also asked to answer a specific questionnaire prepared by Istat, in agreement with the Scientific Technical Committee.


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Data di pubblicazione: 7 agosto 2020, ultimo aggiornamento 7 agosto 2020

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