MEASURES TO PREVENT AND CONTROL THE SPREAD OF THE NEW CORONAVIRUS IN ALBANIA.
▪ Training of medical staff monitoring at border crossings points;
▪ Guidelines on prevention and control of the Covid-19 infection spread in hospitals, airports and ports.
▪ Updated protocol regarding covid-19 cases management, on board ships and in ports.
▪ Posters and banners on the new health protocol for the Durres Port staff and port operators.
The following action plans were in place before the Covid-19 outbreak:▪ ”National Emergency Response Plan: “National Civil Emergency Plan of Albania”.
▪ “Ministry of Health Emergency Operation Plan”
Two contingency plans that addressed the viral respiratorydiseases:
▪ “The National Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response Plan” and
▪ “The Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) Crisis Prevention Plan”
ORDER OF MINISTER OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL PROTECTION, DATED 24 JANUARY 2020,”ON PREVENTION, PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE AGAINST COVID-19”
1. The Public Health Institute of Albania (PHI) in cooperation with national experts, in compliance with the WHO guidelines and instructions, to assess risk levels of the novel coronavirus outspread in our country;
2. The PHI to strengthen monitoring and surveillance on severe acute respiratory infections and acute pneumonia in cooperation with all national health centers, mainly with the University Medical Center of Tirana (UMCT) and the “Shefqet Ndroqi” hospital by ensuring the respiratory samples collection.
3. PHI to prepare case definitions and instructions for epidemiological investigation and surveillance, contact tracking and investigation, sampling and transport as well as infection control for confirmed cases of Covid-19.
4. The Infectious Diseases Service at the “Mother Theresa” University Medical Center of Tirana in cooperation with the Pediatric Service, the Lung Diseases Service at the “Shefqet Ndroqi” hospital and the PHI, to prepare instructions and guidelines for the new coronavirusdetection and case management.
5. The State Health Inspectorate (SHI) to provide personal protective equipment at “Rinas” National Airport and to strengthen the hygienic-sanitary measures in cooperation with the airport authorities.
6. The PHI in cooperation with the” Rinas” airport and the Port of Durres health services as well as the National Medical Emergency Services updated to health and quarantine protocols on Covid-19 case management in airport and ports.
7. The “Mother Teresa”, University Medical Center of Tirana (UMCT), the “Shefqet Ndroqi”, University Hospital in cooperation with the PHI to conduct necessity assessment based on the WHO relevant instructions and guidelines .The Intensive Care Service at the (UMCT) in cooperation with the” Shefqet Ndroqi” Hospital, the Infectious Disease Clinic to coordinate patients management plan in accordance with the infection control measures in force.
8. Hospitals and health centers must take measures for the provision of personal protective equipment and disinfectants as well as ensure effective isolation condition for patients in accordance with the PHI relevant recommendations.
9. All national health care operators should coordinate actions in line with the PHI instructions and directives.
10. Compulsory Health Insurance Fund to take measures in providing financial support to hospitals when necessary.
11. The State Health Inspectorate, the Health Care Operator and the entities that carry out the activities specified in this order are responsible for the implementation of this order. The State Health Inspectorate monitors the implementation of the Order according to the legislation in force. Albania currently has an expanded acute respiratory infection (SARI) surveillance and a well defined early detection system. The PHI has access to all the appropriate capacities and equipment needed to cope with health demands such as a microbiology laboratory using standardized diagnostic and bio-safety proceduresregarding Covid-19 and other viral infections diagnosing as well as highly-trained Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) personnel.
The surveillance of Covid-19 in Albania is built upon the pre-existing respiratory disease surveillance systems:
▪ The syndromic surveillance system for acute respiratory infections (ILI)
▪ The hospital-based surveillance of severe acute respiratory infections (SARI)
▪ The laboratory surveillance system
The Emergency Response Plan is based on a strategic all-hazards emergency risk assessment that takes into account all possible contingencies.