Albanian Minister of Health Ogerta Manastirliu told the media on 18 April that Albania is ready to start serological testing. According to further press statements, this testing commenced on Monday.
Serological testing is carried out via blood test to determine whether an individual has developed antibodies after COVID-19 has entered the body. The Ministry claims that this allows them to understand the situation of infection in the country. If a patient has antibodies, it is assumed that they are protected but at the moment, it is not known how long these antibodies last.
While there has been much fanfare about this testing in Albania, the World Health Organisation has called the tests ineffective.
“Many states suggest using rapid serological tests to capture what they think will be a measure of immunity. At the moment, we have no evidence that the use of serological tests can indicate whether an individual has immunity or is protected from reinfection.”
The UK spent some $20 million on tests and are yet to yield any positive benefit from the results.
The Albanian head of National Emergency Skender Brataj said in an interview that in some countries, this kind of testing has failed.
“There are many serological tests performed by different laboratories. In these tests that have been done, there have been many false cases,” he said. Brataj also cautioned about the false sense of security that such tests could bring to the populace.