How to access data


How are data on the cases of COVID-19 infections collected in the ISS Integrated Surveillance System?

The Surveillance System collects data from Italy’s 20 Regions and 2 Autonomous Provinces after they are validated by the relevant local authorities and stores them in the ISS Integrated Covid-19 Surveillance Platform. After acquiring the data, the System produces nationwide statistics to measure the incidence and spread of the disease, in addition to collecting the data on Covid-19 deaths.

How is the Surveillance System’s Covid-19 data collection and communication regulated?

The data collection and use are performed in compliance with the European Regulation 679/2016 (GDPR), with the new Privacy Code and pursuant to the Ordinances No. 640 and No. 691 of the Head of Civil Protection, dated 27 February and 4 August 2020 respectively.

What data are made public?

The ISS makes data available in aggregate form on a daily baisis, through a dashboard on the official Website and also in descriptive reports. The available data include, for example: the epidemic curve, the number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants by Region/Autonomous Province of domicile or residence, by Region/Autonomous Province of diagnosis, the proportion of cases by age groups and by clinical condition and age group. The data are made available both in the form of a diagram and in a downloadable Excel format.

How does the sharing of data work in the rest of Europe?

The ECDC provides data in Excel format from the Tessy platform. In Italy, these data come from the ISS Integrated Surveillance System. They provide the weekly number of cases and deaths broken down by sex and age. To access the data, it is necessary to submit a motivated request.

Is it possible to receive additional data?

The OCDPC (Ordinance of the Head of the Civil Protection Department) No. 691 of 4 August, provides the possibility of communicating the scientific and research data collected at the relevant centres as well as by agencies of particular scientific relevance, national and international, and by public administrations, in aggregate form or through a pseudonymisation process with double random authorisation code. Access may be requested through an ad hoc form found on the ISS Website for scientific and research purposes that must always be specified.

What do other countries do?

A quick overview of Europe shows that almost all European countries provide data on COVID-19 that is downloadable in CSV and/or JSON files. In any case, the information provided by these countries are almost always the same as the data provided in opencode by the Civil Protection (PC) in Italy.
For a more detailed analysis, the following is the information provided by two Institutions comparable to the ISS: the Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII) in Spain and the Public Health England (PHE) in the United Kingdom.

  • ISCIII: Provides the number of cases, tests, hospitalisations (in total and in intensive care), the daily number of deaths and patients cured (not cumulative) for the whole historical series broken down by region. It does not provide stratified sampling by sex or age group. The data become available on the date of notification.
  • PHE: Provides the daily number of cases (daily and cumulative) for each nation, region and upper local authority. In the United Kingdom, upper local authorities (NUTS3) are 356; these are administrative units somewhere in between Italian provinces and municipalities. The data become available on the date of notification. The PHE also makes available the daily and cumulative death toll for every nation.