I have the pleasure to be with Minister Manastirliu to hand over a fully equipped state-of-the-art CT scanner to support diagnosis of COVID-19 in hospitalised patients.
This will now be the most performant CT scanner in Albania. Advanced research shows that CT scanner detect over 97% of the COVID-19 infections.
It will be a crucial addition in the fight against COVID-19, as it can be used to investigate complex cases, but also to monitor individuals with a high clinical suspicion of infection.
This handover is the 6th and last handover in the framework of our EU4Health project to deliver specialised medical equipment for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
4.2 million EUR have been donated by the EU in this project to procure highly specialised life-saving medical equipment like ambulances, hospital beds, ventilators, in addition to the provision of almost 80,000 tests and protective equipment for the healthcare staff.
This programme has profoundly increased the preparedness of Albanian hospitals to the COVID pandemic, but, in fact, it has made the Albanian health system more prepared to tackle any other major health issue.
I would like this delivery to be seen as an expression of European support to the impressive efforts of the medical and paramedical staff for the diagnosis, protection and treatment of patients affected by the Coronavirus.
As you know, I went through a rather tough COVID experience myself. I was cured here in Tirana and what I experienced was the great assistance and professionalism of Albanian doctors and nurses.
So, I want here to take the opportunity to thank all the doctors and nurses that assisted me in this moment. And I invite everybody to take COVID very seriously. Everybody should feel the responsibility of being part of a community. It is a collective responsibility, it is a personal responsibility.
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread across the region, the EU will continue being at the side of Albania.
First, we are negotiating and will sign soon an agreement to grant more than EUR 11 million to Albania to purchase equipment to support the vaccination campaigns, and to purchase vaccines resold by Member States.
Second, Albania will benefit from a new EU regional project implemented by WHO on health emergency and preparedness (EUR 7.3 million) and to accompany the deployment of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Before closing my intervention, I would like to thank UNOPS, the United Nations Office for Project Services for managing quickly and efficiently this project on behalf of the EU. They have ensured that Albania got the best equipment to address emergency health needs.
It is now my pleasure to invite Minister Manastirliu to say a few words on behalf of the Albanian Government.
Thank you Minister for our excellent cooperation to the benefit of the Albanian people and those affected by COVID-19.
The epidemiological crisis experienced so far has shown that no real border exists: cooperation and solidarity is what we need to overcome these difficult moments.
These are very difficult times in all countries of the world, and certainly in the EU. But even in these difficult times, the EU and its Member States have kept their commitment and support to Albania, and this delivery is yet another concrete example of this strong bond.
Let me stress that we are still experiencing a high baseline of transmission. To flatten the curve of new infections I would like to remind once again the importance of the individual commitment in:
Targeted policies to limit crowds in public places and indoor settings
We can still reduce the impact of the pandemic in Albania, prevent deaths and suffering. I want to encourage once again the citizens to take in their hands, in their habits and in their routine the protection of their families and their country, reminding to each other that the fight against COVID-19 is a team work and a joint responsibility.