From: Alice Taylor
Health Ministry Announces 300 Medical Professionals to be Employed in COVID-19 Fight

Minister of Health Ogerta Manastirliu has announced that 300 doctors, nurses and technicians will be added to the Albanian health system as a part of the medium-term plan and strategy to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

While meeting with epidemiologists in Tirana today, she stated that work is ongoing in strengthening capacities and human resources before the autumn-winter period.

“We are preparing for the autumn-winter which will certainly be difficult. We are preparing to strengthen the assets in terms of human resources, epidemiologists, and employees in the services of Local Health Care Units, not only in Tirana but in all regions,” she said.

Epidemiologists have reported that out of recently identified cases there is an increase in cases among young people who have been infected after attending places with mass gatherings such as holidays and birthdays.

The Minister called on youths to be cautious and responsible as individual behaviour in this situation is crucial.

“A call for young people who need to be more aware of this dangerous virus as they are becoming carriers of this infection and then transmitting it to their parents and grandparents. Today more than ever, everyone must be careful and responsible because the behaviour of every individual in this war is crucial to winning the battle.”

Last year, Albania saw a high number of seasonal influenza cases that saw many wards in the state hospital, including the children’s hospital near capacity. There are concerns over how the healthcare system will cope in the colder months once the influenza season starts, combined with COVID-19 cases.The Opposition has called for free influenza vaccines for everyone in Albania. The vaccine can help to prevent contraction of influenza as well as significantly decreasing the severity of the symptoms. Seasonal influenza kills up to 650,000 people globally every year.