The Minister of Health, Ogerta Manastirliu has said that Albania is a ‘low risk’ country in terms of the deadly coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China.
Despite this and in line with World Health Organisation recommendations, the Minister has issued an order to take precautionary measures to protect against the virus in the country. She added that according to the WHO, scientists are still not sure of how exactly it is transmitted between humans.
Hospitals in the country will now increase surveillance of severe, acute respiratory infections in Albania, preparing a case definition, guidelines for surveillance, epidemiological investigation and case management. These will be in line with the International Health Regulations.
According to the Minister, the applicable institutions should take measures to implement emergency plans for response to viral infections, based on the degree of danger.
At the time of writing, some 26 people have died from the virus with at least 830 battling it. The virus has been confirmed in at least eight countries; China, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore and the US.
The virus- named 2019-nCoV was identified on January 7 and is a new strain of the Coronavirus group of viruses. Little is known about it but human-to-human transmission has been confirmed. According to the WHO, symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. It can lead to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.While it has claimed lives so far, experts have said it does not appear to be as deadly as other coronaviruses like SARS that killed almost 800 people globally in 2002-2003.