31Mar

Albania declares Coronavirus a 'natural calamity'

Albania declared the coronavirus a “natural calamity” on Wednesday March 25, giving the authorities 30-day emergency powers to search houses, stop free movement and ban strikes, report Reuters.The article says, “The strain placed on the health system of richer neighbour Italy, the country worst-hit by the outbreak, is being seen as a stark warning by politicians in Albania, one of Europe’s poorest countries. 

Starting from Monday March 30 only one person per family will be allowed out to do grocery shopping or run errands for one hour a day – reports Exit News. “To do so, they will have to apply for a permit online and they will need an Albanian ID. So far, the government has not clarified procedures for foreigners living in Albania, or if they need a permit at all. Persons that have this permit will be the only ones allowed out, for one hour each day, and only during the time between 5am and 1pm, from Monday to Saturday. Meanwhile, no movement or business activity will be allowed from Saturday at 1pm to Monday at 5am.”

“Strict measures already announced, including a 16-hour daily curfew and orders to prevent people, even couples, from walking close to each other during the eight-hour window of free movement, would remain in place, it said.

“Some people ignoring orders to quarantine at home for 14 days have already been hit with fines of 700,000 leke ($6,100).

“The new emergency measures will also include extending quarantines for those most at risk from the virus.

“The special powers will be wielded by an emergency committee set up four months ago - originally to deal with a Nov. 26 earthquake that killed 51 people and left 17,000 homeless.”

On Saturday March 28, Albania flew a team of doctors and nurses to neighbouring Italy on Saturday to help it deal with the coronavirus pandemic – reports Reuters.

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