Despite the government’s statements that the three Covid hospitals in Tirana still have free beds for Covid patients, this weekend the Durrës regional hospital opened the dedicated ward for these patients’ treatment. With a capacity of 340 beds, the hospital has been able to provide eight beds for these patients so far, and confirmed the possession of six respirators. . The medical staff in Durrës considers the Covid ward opening as a new challenge, while the families of the patients hospitalized there consider it as a relief.

As far as the covid infections’ number is concerned, Durrës ranks second, after Tirana. Up to today the number of infected individuals in this city totals 1218 while people continue to show little obedience toward preventive measures. A few days after the government guaranteed that there are still free capacities in Tirana for Covid patients’ hospitalization, “Faktoje” managed to confirm the opening of a dedicated ward for Covid patients in the regional hospital of Durrës. We were able to obtain photos from inside the premises of the hospital in Durrës, when they had just commenced to accept procedures of the most seriously affected covid patients.  In the previous days, covid patients were treated only by three Covid-hospitals in Tirana.

Covid patients dedicated ward in Durrës hospital, photo: Aurora Shpataj

Sources from inside the hospital confirmed that, starting from this Friday the Durrës regional hospital would dedicate the palliative ward to Covid patients and transfer to the fourth floor of the same building other patients who were previously treated there.

“This ward was opened because Tirana can no longer accept any patients, except from those in serious conditions. There are two rooms called red codes, where every Covid suspected patient stays, gets tested and a lung scan before being hospitalized.” – as stated for “Faktoje” by sources from inside the hospital who did not want to be identified”.

“Currently there are eight beds in the red code areas, dedicated to covid suspected patients; four beds in each of the rooms. Covid suspected patients remain there before being diagnosed and then sent to the ward. This is the new procedure, as previously we used to send these patients to Tirana.” – as the source confirmed.

While verifying the opening of the Covid ward at the Durrës hospital, staff members stated for “Faktoje”:

“Currently there are 20 Covid suspects, but this figures change every moment, due to incoming cases”.

“Faktoje” inquired about the beds and staff capacity of this hospital as well as concerning the capability of the hospital to cope with covid-19 affected patients.

“There are 340 beds, in addition to resuscitation and emergency beds; meanwhile sources told us that there are 183 free beds and added that:

“The number of Covid patients’ dedicated beds is not definite, but we can start with the 40 beds at the infectious diseases hospital and we can continue in accordance with the situation.”

In the hospital of Durrës one doctor and 2 nurses are officially confirmed to be infected with Covid. However, among the staff the number of the infected persons is suspected to be more significant. In spite of this, all hospital services are reported to be operational.

There are two doctors serving in the newly opened Covid ward, one of whom is a pulmonologist. “Covid patients are treated by two specialist doctors and by the nurses. There is also an emergency doctor who is the first one to come in contact with the patient and in case of any suspects the patient has Covid he advices the patient to perform a scan and get tested.”

Sources from inside the hospital informed “Faktoje” that all six respirators are busy.

“If a patient’s condition happens to worsen, or in case we do not have any more capacities, we send the patient to Tirana.”- says a nurse for “Faktoje”.

The hospital reports that the oxygen supply is at an optimal level.

Ambulances in front of the Durrës regional hospital, photo: Aurora Shpataj

“Out of 5-8 ambulances in the hospital, four of them are available and ready for Covid suspected patients. One is available and ready for accidents or injuries.” – as Durrës hospital staff members tell us.

View from the inside of Durrës hospital ambulance, photo: Aurora Shpataj

The Covid ward opening in Durrës hospital was a relief for numerous patients and patient’s relatives, facing the pandemic challenge.

“No, I will not send my husband to Tirana, where I would not have the possibility to communicate with him. Whereas here, I can communicate with him more easily” – says a woman after having her covid infected husband hospitalized there. During the conversation with this woman as well as with other patients’ relatives waiting in front of the hospital, we understand that the 4 cases of suicide that occurred in the Hospital “Shefqet Ndroqi” and the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Tirana, have caused panic among the population.