If COVID-19 worries and concerns were not enough, autumn is associated with the fear of a new wave of infections due to coronavirus colliding with the seasonal flu. Despite slight dips, daily infections are not declining. Conversely, the Ministry of Health assures that the situation is under control by providing comparative figures and illustrations, which have been debunked by “Faktoje” verifications.
During a television interview, the Minister of Health and Social Protection, Ogerta Manastirliu, commented on the COVID-19 situation in the country and number of infections compared to neighboring countries. In addition to previous fact-checking on this issue, “Faktoje” identified some false statements made by Ms. Manastirliu during “Open” television program.
1) “COVID-19 measures have been and are implemented in schools.”- Minister of Health and Social Protection, Ogerta Manastirliu stated.
According to “Faktoje” observations, the situation in schools of Kukës, Mirdita, and Vlora following the new school year was different from what Ms. Manastirliu described. Despite the frequent hand washing requirement, virtually all 9-year schools lacked running water, while others did not have toilets.
2) “Everyone has been allocated a bonus by the government. Every employee working during the pandemic has been provided a bonus. 2,500 doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, and sanitation workers have been and are offered their bonuses.” – the Minister of Health and Social Protection, Ogerta Manastirliu stated.
According to the commitment of Prime Minister Rama at the onset of the pandemic, doctors, who were at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, were expected to be allocated a 1,000 Euro, which Minister Manastirliu claims to be have been accomplished. However, upon previous verifications, “Faktoje” learned that such bonus has not been allocated since June in “Shefqet Ndroqi” hospital.
3) “Albania has the lowest number of infections among EU and Balkans countries, inclusive of Kosovo. As regards total number of deaths per million inhabitants, Albania has a better ranking than regional countries, besides Serbia.” – the Minister of Health and Social Protection, Ogerta Manastirliu stated.
In fact, the number of tests per million inhabitants in Albania is lower compared to North Macedonia. Since the onset of the pandemic, North Macedonia has performed a higher number of COVID-19 tests in comparison to Albania. According to healthcare experts, this is the reason why Albania has a lower number of infections or victims.
Based on data collected by “Faktoje”, the 3 statements made by Minister Manastirliu are rated as false.