Two years have passed since Albania reported its first COVID-19 case in early March 2020. Since then, Albania has reported over 272.000 infections and almost 3500 deaths. On March 9, Ms. Ogerta Manastirliu Minister of Health and Social Protection brought together various actors to acknowledge their role in the COVID-19 response in Albania.
WHO representative Geraldine McWeeney gave a speech recognizing the work accomplished so far. "While we mourn these souls that are no longer with us, we also celebrate the development and distribution of safe and effective vaccines in record time. Almost 3 million doses have been administered here in Albania, saving many lives.”
Ms. McWeeney also recognized the immense work of the Ministry and the sacrifices made by the people of Albania. "Not least its dedicated health workers who have shouldered the weight of this crisis, putting themselves in harm’s way in the service of their patients".
Lastly, Ms. McWeeney concluded “Even though we have come a long way over the last 2 years, the virus remains unpredictable, highly contagious, and life-threatening in unvaccinated populations. As the restrictions are gradually removed and as numbers are decreasing, here in Albania we need to remember that individually you have a choice to take measures to protect yourselves and those around you. In due course, COVID-19 might become endemic, and I am hopeful that in Albania we can end the emergency phase of this pandemic in 2022, but only if everyone pulls together – politicians, people, and scientists across the world".