Mandatory masks everywhere to prevent virus spread ahead of winter

TTimes
By TTimes October 14, 2020 13:02

Mandatory masks everywhere to prevent virus spread ahead of winter

TIRANA, Albania - Mask wearing would become mandatory outdoors too, Albanian Prime Minister said on Saturday.

Edi Rama said all people would be asked to keep the masks on even outdoors, starting from Thursday next week. He did not specify the fine imposed on violators of the new rule but added that it would be sent to individuals with their monthly electricity bill. The implementation would be observed by state police instead of public health officials. 

“The mask would become a normality “at least until February when the sun and new leaves come out,” he added.

Following the two-month lockdown in spring, Albania relaxed the measures and wearing the mask and social distance is mandatory only indoors.

The government fears cold weather coming in the next months, the upcoming flu period, the increased time people stay in air conditioned areas, all these make “the infectious threat (to) increase exponentially.”

As of Saturday, Albania has 15,231 confirmed virus cases and 416 deaths.

Rama called on the people to wear the mask so that “not to take all of us inside the tunnel of general quarantine because the cost of all, the joint cost is undeserved for the majority respecting the rules.”

During the same news conference, Healthcare Minister Manastirliu explained that the treatment with the Remdesivir drugs would also start in the Covid hospitals. According to the minister this is made possible after  relevant agreement has been reached with the EU authorities for the supply.

DP head Lulzim Basha criticized the outdoor mask measure saying that the costs of the masks will be another burden for the poorest segments of the society. Public health experts worry that the extreme measure cannot make up for the gaps in medical capacities. So far the obligation to wear masks indoors has been only partially observed. 

TTimes
By TTimes October 14, 2020 13:02