Suspect cases (according to the WHO definition) are being tested for COVID-19. Contacts are being tested only in certain situations as indicated by local risk assessments.
Testing is initiated by the surveillance teams or the Emergency Medical Service.
COVID-19 testing occurs at the Virology Laboratory of the National Institute of Public Health in Tirana. The Virology Laboratory of the National Institute of Public Health has two PCR machines: Model ABI 7500 and Model ABI 7500 Fast, Applied Biosystems. This capacity is being used.
The average number of tests per day is approximately 250.
Capacities that are currently unused but will be available soon include:
• a PCR machine at the University Hospital Centre “Mother Tereza”, Tirana, Albania: Exicycler Exiprep AccuPower SARS CoV2 real-time PCR. The procurement of testing kits is pending.
• 2 GeneXpert machines (4 modules each) at the University Hospital “Shefqet Ndroqi”. The procurement of testing kits is pending.
As of 16 July 2020, the testing capacity in Albania was approximately 400 tests per day, which corresponds to an estimated 1 test per 1000 population per week or 10,583 tests per 1 million population. Sample positivity is up to 23%.
As of 23 July, permission may now be granted for non-public (private) laboratories to conduct RT-PCR tests for SARS-COV-2 for administrative purposes (Order no. 437, dated 23.07.2020 of the Minister of Health and Social Protection). The criteria to be met by non-public structures to perform the RT-PCR test are outlined in the following guidance: https://shendetesia.gov.al/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Scanned-Documents.pdf