We analyze how the same type of public intervention (the transformation of a convention center into a hospital for Covid-19 patients) has occurred in three different contexts (Wuhan, New York and Milan). We highlight which models has led to a timely and efficient public intervention aimed at fighting Covid-19 local epidemic. The comparative analysis reveals that there is no single path to success: according to different contextual conditions, different factors are fundamental to ensure government timeliness and efficiency. We argue that the same factors are important also in situations of "ordinary emergency", which normally occurs as, physiologically, governments have to cope with unlimited needs and scarce resources availability.
Keywords: Governance, government, tempestivity, bureaucracy.