National Day in Remembrance of COVID-19 Victims in Italy Date in the current year: March 18, 2024

National Day in Remembrance of COVID-19 Victims in Italy The devastating COVID-19 pandemic, which was still ongoing as of March 2022, has resulted in millions of deaths across the world. Italy was one of the first countries to be heavily hit by the spread of the new disease. To pay tribute to those who died of COVID-19, the Italian government declared March 18 as the National Day in Remembrance of COVID-19 Victims (Giornata nazionale in memoria delle vittime dell’epidemia di coronavirus).

The first confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Italy were registered on January 31, 2020, when two Chinese tourists in Rome tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The third case was confirmed a week later; it was an Italian man who had returned from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where SARS-CoV-2 was first discovered.

On February 21, clusters of new cases were detected in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto. The first deaths were registered the next day, and the Italian government issued a decree to quarantine over 50,000 people from 11 northern municipalities. Despite the quarantine, the virus had spread to all regions of Italy by the beginning of March. On March 9, 2020, the government imposed a nationwide lockdown.

The outbreak of COVID-19 in Italy put a significant pressure on the country’s healthcare system. Physicians and nurses were overworked and intensive care units had no room for all COVID-19 patients. Hospitals being overwhelmed by new COVID-19 cases also affected people with other life-threatening conditions, for example, cancer patients who desperately needed access to treatment and transplants. The pandemic also severely damaged the Italian economy. Italy was one of the countries most affected by the 2020 stock market crash and saw a significant GDP decline in 2020.

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Italy had one of the highest numbers of active cases in the world, and the year 2020 had the highest number of deaths in the country since World War II. As of March 2022, Italy had over 13.3 million confirmed cases and over 2.7 million active cases of COVID-19. Over 156,000 people in Italy died of COVID-19 during the first two years of the pandemic.

The National Day in Remembrance of COVID-19 Victims in Italy was formally established on March 17, 2021. It is observed on March 18 with a minute of silence dedicated to the victims of the pandemic, including medical personnel who got infected and died while saving lives, public ceremonies and meetings, educational events, and more. All public buildings throughout the country display flags at half mast during the day.

In addition to honoring the memory of those who fell victim to the pandemic, the National Day in Remembrance of COVID-19 Victims aims to highlight the importance of supporting and developing the country’s healthcare system and to consolidate efforts in this regard. The first months of the pandemic demonstrated that the healthcare system of Italy needed improvement, and considerable positive dynamics has been achieved since then, but there is always room for even more improvement.

Remind me with Google Calendar


Anniversaries and Memorial Days



National Day in Remembrance of COVID-19 Victims in Italy, remembrance days, holidays in Italy, observances in Italy, COVID-19 pandemic