Opposition leader Lulzim Basha has accused the government of manipulating the Covid-19 death toll in Albania by reporting only about half of deaths.
Only 637 deaths were reported until November 17, while the real figure of people diagnosed with Covid-19 who died in hospitals is 1238, Basha claimed on Thursday in a TV show.
The opposition leader said he had been provided an official list of the dead by doctors – including their names and cause of death (all died infected with Covid-19) – as it is found with the morgue authority where all those who die in hospitals are registered.
Basha accused the government of intentionally reporting lower figures.
While on live television, he called on prosecutors to immediately start an investigation at the main hospital morgue and seize morgue registers.
On Friday, the medical staff of the Infectious Diseases Hospital denied Basha’s accusations against the government, claiming that hiding the numbers is “theoretically and practically impossible.”
They warned the opposition against similar public statements, or else they will sue those who misinform the public.
The government also reacted through deputy minister of health Albert Nikolla, who denied the accusations and blamed Basha for harming the reputation of the medical staff and inciting violence against them.
No investigation is known to have been launched. The Special Anti-Corruption Prosecution (SPAK) told Report TV that the issue doesn’t fall under their responsibility, while the Tirana Prosecutor’s office said they haven’t started any investigation.
On Friday afternoon, Basha repeated calls on prosecutors to start investigations immediately, and not give to the government to manipulate the evidence.