At least 5 doctors and nurses have been infected with COVID-19 in Albania and more than 20 other ones are self-quarantined. They have contracted the virus from patients they were treating, who reportedly hid their recent travel history. The 5 infected medical staff comprise about 10 percent of the total 51 infected in Albania.
Today, the Ministry of Health confirmed that a doctor and three nurses from Tirana University Hospital “Shefqet Ndroqi” have been infected with COVID-19.
They have caught the virus after treating an infected patient, who had been admitted to the hospital on February 23. A relative of the patient who had recently traveled to Italy visited the hospital without disclosing his travel history.
In Durrës, one of the doctors who worked to treat the 73-year-old who passed away as a result of COVID-19 has tested positive for the virus.
The patient had not told the medical staff that she had just returned from Italy, thus endangering the entire staff of the Durrës hospital, as well as other patients who shared her room. Many doctors and nurses of Durrës hospital await their test results, while some have self-quarantined.
In Fier, 18 doctors and nurses who treated an infected 61-year-old have self-quarantined. The patient had returned from Italy on March 6 and was admitted to the hospital on March 12 to receive pneumonia treatment. She did not disclose her travel history to the medical staff, thus endangering 18 of them.
Three members of the Berat hospital have also entered self-quarantine, after seeing a patient in her home. The patient was suffering from respiratory difficulties and she failed to tell the medical staff that she had just returned from Italy.
The Ministry of Health, alongside many experts, have constantly pleaded with citizens to be honest with doctors about their symptoms and travel history, especially if they traveled to Italy. This is the only way they can avoid endangering nurses and doctors that are currently at the front lines of the battle with COVID-19.
Disclosing recent travel from high risk countries like Italy will allow medical staff to take precautionary measures while treating patients, and will hasten the identification of infected cases.