2. Ensuring sufficient physical infrastructure and workforce capacity
ENSURING SUFFICIENT PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND WORKFORCE CAPACITY is crucial for dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak, as there may be both a surge in demand and a decreased availability of health workers. The section considers the physical infrastructure available in a country and where there are shortages, it describes any measures being implemented or planned to address them. It also considers the health workforce, including what countries are doing to maintain or enhance capacity, the responsibilities and skill-mix of the workforce, and any initiatives to train or otherwise support health workers.
2.1 Physical infrastructure
Initial availability of physical resources:
Surveillance: The Institute of Public Health is the designated national institution, accountable to the Ministry of Health and Social Protection (MoHSP), for organizing and performing the surveillance of infectious diseases. It operates through its central capabilities in the capital, and through local public health units in all districts.
Laboratory: the single national virology lab is located within the Institute of Public Health. The lab is certified by WHO. Three virologists perform lab work connected to COVID-19 (RT-PCR).
Emergency Care: The first contact of people with the health system is through the Emergency Care Service (telephone numbers 127, 112). A proportion of ambulances is geared towards the transport of COVID-19 patients/suspected cases. All staff have received basic training.
Hospitals: the following hospitals are designated as COVID-19 hospitals:
• Infectious Disease Service at the University Hospital Centre “Mother Tereza”: 120 beds
• University Hospital “Shefqet Ndroqi”: 193
• Former General Surgical Wards at the University Hospital Centre “Mother Tereza: 140 beds
• One facility of the American Hospital: 60 – 120 beds
Combined, they have the following capacity:
• Total number of beds: approximately 473
• Total number of ICU beds: 250-300
• Total number of Intensive Care available ventilators (respirators): 200 (including private facilities)
PPE: Initially available in a limited number. The stock increased as of 18 April 2020:
• 11,400 pieces of Tyvek Suit, Coverall protection
• 200 protective goggles
• 500,000 surgical face masks
• 60,000 Face Mask Respirators FFP3 / FFP2 with valve (N95), Mask, high-fil, FFP2/N95, no valve, nonster (0305109)
• 660,000 gloves, examination, nitrile, powder-free, non-sterile
Pharmaceuticals, medical supplies: available
IT: not assessed/reported
The Ministry of Health and Social Protection has requested to increase the stock of protective equipment and medical supplies, lab/testing, hospital capacity (including beds), ICU capacity, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment (e.g. ventilators, imagery), and ambulances.
COVID-19 Treatment capacities as of 1 June 2020
The active ones (as of 1 June 2020) are:
Infectious Disease Service at the University Hospital Centre “Mother Tereza”: 120 beds
New COVID-19 hospital structure (Tirana): 100 beds
16 July 2020
The Albanian Ministry of Health and Social Protection re-opened COVID-2 Hospital (the University Hospital “Shefqet Ndroqi”) on 14 July 2020. COVID-2 Hospital has 193 beds.
COVID 1 Hospital (Infectious Diseases Service at University Hospital Center “Mother Tereza”) has 120 beds.
As of 16 July 2020, the total number of COVID hospital beds in the country was 553, corresponding to 19 per 100,000 population.