One week after the first coronavirus infected case was found in Albania, a total of 55 people have been diagnosed, prompting the government to take a series of serious measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
So far, COVID-19 has spread to 6 cities: Tirana (38 infected cases), Fier (6 infected cases), Durrës (5 infected cases), Elbasan (2 infected cases), Rrogozhina (2 infected cases), and Lushnja (2 infected cases).
Medical staff are working at maximum capacity, risking infection themselves. So far, 8 doctors and nurses have been infected.
Below find a rundown of the Albanian coronavirus numbers:
Less than 10% of the people tested were infected
From February 12 to March 17, 605 people have been tested, 55 of which tested positive. Thus, currently, only 9.09% of those tested had COVID-19.
Less than half of the people infected are receiving hospital treatment
Out of 55 infected persons, only 25 (45%) of them have been hospitalized. The remaining 30 are currently in self-quarantine.
The mortality rate is less than 2%
Out of 55 of the infected people, only one has passed away, a 73-year-old from Durrës. Though the number of the infected is too small to come to a statistical conclusion, when compared to other countries whose mortality rate varies from 0.8% to 7% (Italy’s mortality rate is the highest in the world so far) the Albanian mortality rate is relatively low.
Why are emergency measures implemented?
The above numbers may look small. However, let us analyse them.
Coronavirus causes the most health complications to the elderly and the immuno-compromised. Symptoms may start appearing anywhere between 1 to 14 days from when someone was infected.
INSTAT data shows that about 15% of Albania’s population (436 thousand people) is older than 65.
If the infection spreads to more than 10% of the population, then 43,667 people that are 65 or older risk getting infected.
If the hospitalization rate remains 45%, 19,650 people from this age group alone will need specialized medical care.
Keeping in mind this virus’ high contagion rate, our medical system would be unable to support this amount of patients in need of care.
That is why it is necessary to contain the spread of the virus, so that the number of people in need of hospitalization do not overwhelm the Albanian medical system.