Latest News from Albania
Serbia closed its borders last night and declared a state of emergency. This is also the case in Romania today.
Greece has banned cruise ships from entering ports and terminated its transport links with Spain, Italy, Albania and Northern Macedonia, which in turn mobilized all available medical personnel.
A patient being sent to the Shefqet Ndroqi Hospital for Lung Diseases in Tirana on Sunday. Photo: Malton Dibra/LSA
Prime Minister Edi Rama said that anyone who complains about the heavy fines should understand that the penalties are "not [meant] to collect money for the state, but to protect the people from violations that threaten their health in this war situation".
Greece has decided to close its borders with Albania and North Macedonia, with some exceptions, stop flights to and from Spain and end passenger ship service to Italy.
Also, cruise ships will no longer be allowed at Greek ports.
Greek citizens, as well as permanent residence of Greece, will still be allowed to cross from Albania and North Macedonia.
Kosovo on Friday confirmed its first two cases of coronavirus, as the authorities test more people. The announcement was made at a joint press conference of Prime Minister Albin Kurti and the Minister of Health, Arben Vitia. They said two of 15 suspected cases had tested positive for the virus. Both had arrived recently from Italy, by far the worst affected country in Europe.
Serbia, Albania and Romania have closed many of their border crossings in order to combat the spread of the coronavirus, leaving some parts of the Balkans practically cut off for civil traffic.
All countries of the region have either banned entry or introduced special restrictive measures for passengers arriving from countries with mid to high to risk of coronavirus.
Albanian mobile phone users have unexpectedly received a recorded message from the Prime Minister, advising them on how to protect themselves from the coronavirus - and the media.
"Wash your hands, don't move from your house for pleasure, open windows as much as you can, protect yourself from the media," the message from Edi Rama said.
None of them knew what awaited them on the other side. Maybe they'd end up in jail on the Turkish side or fall prey to violent smugglers.
This was in 2006. Looking back, it seems like a happy era of order and predictability, as the world today seems to flirt with the abyss: economic insecurity, the epidemic of coronavirus and the biggest refugee crisis of the century.
Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu highlighted, at a meeting with ambassadors of EU member states in Bucharest, the need for the immediate actions to focus on ensuring a proper medical response to the COVID-19 spreading all over the EU.
A 66-year-old woman with a history of heart disease died on Wednesday in Pirogov hospital in Sofia as a consequence of coronavirus - the first officially confirmed fatal victim of the illness in Bulgaria. Her 74-year-old husband is in the same hospital and also diagnosed with coronavirus, but is in a relatively stable condition.