The aggravation of the COVID-19 situation in Albania has increased not only the number of new cases and hospitalizations but also life losses. February was the worst month since the beginning of the pandemics, with a total of 416 deaths.
The first days of March are also showing a high number of deaths. Dr.Pellumb Pipero, from the COVID-1 hospital, explains that one of the reasons is the fact that patients are brought very late to hospitals.
“Patients come with severe complications, seven or eight days after being diagnosed with COVID, or even after 14 days spent at home”, Pipero said. “There is some sort of skepticism for the hospitalization, but receiving treatment in our institutions is a solution, rather than a choice”.
The warmer weather conditions after the first weeks of March may bring even more cases, with more people frequenting public places. “We may have the same levels by mid-March, but after that, it could even get higher”, Pipero said.
When asked whether anti-Covid measures should be harsher for March, Pipero said that they should wait for the assessments made by the Technical Committee, while citizens should keep respecting the measures. “Citizens should always wear masks, especially during public transportations. Schools must keep respecting sanitation rules.”
Covid hospitals are working at almost full capacity right now, due to the increased number of patients. Doctors say that the number of younger patients have also increased, who get further complications due to the high presence of the virus.
Public transportation buses around Albania, especially in Tirana, are packed with travelers who commute to work. Despite the unsafe conditions, it is unaffordable for most of the citizens to use other means of transportations for their daily activities.
Public transportation workers are not legally bound to force citizens to wear masks and keep social distancing, and transportation companies do not promise any increased number of vehicles, as long as there is no reimbursement from the government.
Different from Albania, Kosovo doesn’t allow more than 25 passengers in public transportation buses, and companies are compensated by the government for their losses.