Dr. Aleksander Meksi
With the first reports of pandemics and cases of coronavirus in Europe, Albanians began to worry about its spread among us, because there were many contacts with countries where the disease was showing problems, especially with the arrival of February when the mass return of compatriots began. from Italy and Greece. Many of us tried to get information through foreign media and various websites to learn about the phenomenon and how we can protect ourselves and what the state is obliged to do… ..or as we say, the Government and the leaders. I noticed that everywhere in the democratic world there is beginning to be transparency about the dimensions and features of the epidemic and at the same time a mobilization of all possibilities to cope with it, i.e. to identify the affected… their contacts and provide them with medical assistance in hospitals and their homes where about 70% of those affected are located, mobilizing experts and listening only to them and not the health administrators, who decide after having the opinion of experts, the experience gained in the meantime, WHO orders, as well as the advanced countries acting on Covid 19 .. And this procedure must be transparent. We have not implemented these procedures properly and therefore there are many who do not trust the government bulletins and meanwhile are finding ground fantasies and conspiracy theories against the risk of epidemics, the need for safeguards until its denial.
Public opinion has not yet been informed whether assistance has been requested from international financial institutions and institutions where our country is part of, countries that have the opportunity to help with means and equipment for this war, as well as assistance and credit to cope with the crisis (including here and those “promised” for the November 26 earthquake with great fanfare).
It must be acknowledged that there were many attitudes and assessments about the degree of risk of pandemics, the ways of spreading and the measures to be taken, and the protocols of medical treatment. And as always, the options and solutions from country to country between schools and medical policy experts and specialists in the field were different, ranging from considering it a dangerous pandemic that requires urgent measures to the theory of “immunity”. herd. ”
Among the government officials who openly spoke about the “theory” of “herd immunity” (herd or herd of cattle), that the more people get sick, the more immune they become to coronavirus (this also takes 3-6 months), the better will be, was the first KM of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson, who saw no harm but pain, said: “Many loved ones will die.” According to this solution, the elderly will not survive due to their age and generally not in good health (most over 80 years old and a large number over 70 years old.). This is what President USA Donald Donald thought at first, judging that with a lockdown we would have a blockade of the economy, while his advisor dr. Fauci, who had served six presidents, told the president about the pandemic: “..why don’t we let it flood the country …”, he replied: “Mr. President, a lot of people will die …” the attitude of the state, but if the measures had been put in place before many lives would have been saved.
Those two, as well as others, immediately changed their strategy towards pandemic and did what Europe, even the late one, was doing – lockdown d.m.th. .. quarantine self-isolation, social distancing, mass tampons and testing (both those for infection and those for immunity), forced masks and gloves, emergency hospitals and other aids for human survival and entrepreneurship.
Lessons from the experiences of others and European experience show that many mandatory actions under the WHO to limit the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic are not yet taking place in Albania. While restrictions on movement are being implemented well and effectively (perhaps should be allowed on all seven days of the week; even for retirees and children on a limited schedule, because total closure can hurt them), to have more data on the development of epidemics throughout the territory, many necessary and urgent actions remain to be performed as soon as possible at any cost such as: as many tests (both those with tampons and those for immunity, including contacts that must be evidenced); the provision of masks, gloves, and protective clothing (occupational hazard determines their type) as soon as possible of all citizens moving to public places… especially those who work in business services for people, as well as the police and the army in the service of enforcing the Laws and Orders in this case; and especially the provision of everything that ensures the full protection of self-employed medical workers at the highest level of risk to life, to whom we must express our gratitude. Hospitals should be filled as soon as possible with all the equipment, tools, and medicines needed for this “war”, as well as pharmacies, for today and tomorrow.
We see that they are trying to convince us that the number of tests performed by charged structures is “sufficient”, a not at all serious and unreliable term, otherwise to say the world (those who apply lockdown), and especially friends ours, so as not to tire in vain and spend considerable funds on tens of millions of tests that they plan to produce for their continuation, claiming that it is the necessary tool to judge the situation and identify those affected by a coronavirus. The example of Germany that follows and takes priority tests from all those who have had contact with the infected I believe is enough.
Any opening or easing of quarantine for certain categories of activities should be done carefully… according to the suggestions of experts, the experience of others and always step by step and evaluating the results and the risk.
By “opening” we must understand not only the permission to open the store, office, or start working in a production unit but also the strict provision of full conditions of protection against infection by eventual carriers of the virus, ie its spread, state control. for the observance of these conditions, in the first place the health condition, both by the service providers but also for its beneficiaries and all the employees of a production unit. And in any case an open unit must have the financial means to carry out economic activity, so that the opening is not fictitious for them.
The same goes for places and activities where it is not easily avoided to gather people and ensure contact between them and the risk of infection such as cinemas, theaters, sports matches, bars, and restaurants and the same; determining the opening time, when possible, and mandatory rules (protocols) for security measures as well as forms of control. The same goes for schools. Enough with the self-deception that schools will open at the end of May when there is the largest gathering of our children. Schools, God willing, should be opened on September 1 and one month should be used to control and fill in the gaps in the knowledge of the 2019-2020 school year.
Policy executives need to understand that they are the ones who are valued for the effect of these policies on the people of their country if there is more human loss or damage to the economy than in the countries that took the most appropriate measures. The examples are clear to the United States and Britain, where the advice of institutions and experts was not heeded, comparing them to countries such as Germany, South Korea, and Finland, where there was no hesitation on effective policies to investigate infection and the recommended safeguards. The severity with which coercive measures are applied, restrictions, and quarantine, in addition to prudence for opening, are actions that remove in time what is called the second wave of pandemics, in the hope that in the meantime the vaccine against Covid 19. This is a recommendation or advice of WHO Deputy Director W. Ricciardi.
It is not too late to take these measures because, as Ursula von Leyen says, the complete safety of coronavirus protection will be after the mass use of vaccines against Covid-19, otherwise this flame will be active until the end of the year… and we must be careful. return, what is called the second wave which can have even greater consequences.
We must acknowledge that citizens are ignoring the demand for “social distancing”, while for the continuous and mandatory use of masks and gloves, as tools that protect them, citizens have nothing to do, while for the immediate security of their government is not acting with priority. And a remark here on the purchase of medicines, equipment, and protective equipment. The state provides them through licensed firms, which pass to the state with prices that are determined together according to a reasonable and mandatory profit margin, because the state has limited competition to these firms and this “favor” should not be abused, especially in the field. of health and in emergencies. This is especially true when the state provides most of them for free. Attitudes towards violators of this norm should be maintained, both firms and product traders.
Even more problematic is the demand for as many tests as possible, which is not being considered by the Government and in our opinion carries dangerous consequences. Until April 19, the Albanian government has conducted only 5,542 tampons, an indifferent figure if we compare it with those of other countries, and not at all according to WHO guidelines. These days Italy performs 50-60 thousand tests a day and has a total of 1,305,833 (population ratio Al./It. Is 21). It is also clear that investigations are not being followed into the contacts that each victim has had with others: family, co-workers, friends, and casual contacts. It is clear, then, that the Government is a supporter of the theory of “herd immunity,” but that, at the same time, fortunately for us, it has rightly imposed a very strict restriction on the exit and movement of people and means, the real quarantine. which is certainly yielding results in not spreading the virus. Of course, there may be more days for movement, but not only the gradual opening, but it can also be different for certain territories, depending on the degree of exposure to the virus. because this is required to exit the lockdown as ie. increased virus testing, blood tests and immunity passports; so necessary requirements, because according to a preliminary study by Stanford University the number of infected is many times greater than the figures given (in places where testing is performed properly), so only then will we have a full knowledge of the degree of exposure to the virus, without which opening policies will not be safe. To meet the needs for protective equipment during the opening, it pushes Germany to plan to produce every week starting from mid-August 40 million regular masks and 10 million FFP2 masks, including aid needs.
The strictness of state structures and the obedience of conscious citizens make quarantine violations diminish day by day, but people still need to be made aware of it and individual safeguards, as a means of avoiding the risk of contact infection.
I think that it should be clearly stated, and without contradictions and frequent changes of measures, what should be done in this battle, ie a long-term strategy, according to the recommendations of international structures and the experience of overcoming the pandemic that is proving successful in other countries… Without controversy between the parties, but also with transparency about the situation, our real material and financial opportunities, the assistance provided in detail, and in no case personalized propaganda and boasting. This must be done immediately. It is necessary to be informed about the condition, needs, and orders (why not and for requests for help) for masks, gloves, medical staff clothing, disinfectants, equipment, and medications and how long we will be provided with them.
All considering the rule that health first d.m.th. job security than the economy, although related to each other, the measures taken so far are insufficient and with consequences for the people, who are not allowed to work by the government lockdown, but also against the enterprise that risks bankruptcy, in an inability to pay obligations for as long as they do not work. This shortcoming will be repaired according to the experience of European countries and those of our region, certainly in proportion to the population and the ratio of PPP pro capita. For those who cannot work, it should be given not a grant but what in France and Germany is called a “partial unemployment benefit” (i.e. to serve as unemployment assistance or as a camp) i.e. that for our country should range from 30,000 for the minimum wage to 60,000 for others (the latter is debatable) calculated from March until the regular and permitted the resumption of work and without bearing the obligations for social and health insurance, as well as fiscal liabilities, a portion of which may be postponed in accordance with the possibilities and this is resolved with bonuses and grants to those who are unable and bonuses to those who are harmed. Help should be considered by the self-employed as well as those involved in social assistance and low pensions, and even those who do not benefit from any of these and are known to be in difficulty. We must acknowledge that these proposals, as well as others below, have room for discussion… but only on the part of experts and on the basis of opportunity, not on the part of the administration or for political interests, and in no case should it be considered a matter of course.
Another aspect of intervention in the field of economic activity is the start of work in the necessary services and according to production requirements, but with full security measures (especially for service providers), to pass, when the rate of infection decreases (the real one, not the one with the figures set by the government), in increasing production activities not only in services but also in production with two short-term tours, even on the 7th day of the week, as well as the reactivation of domestic and foreign transport.
Strictness means that those who are not infected must be admitted to work… that is, from rigorous daily medical check-ups, and without any release to provide the equipment every day with individual protective measures and disinfection of workplaces, and these are not few; But in any case, businesses and enterprises that close or limit their activity in time should be liquidated… risk-taking and deferral of liabilities (contributions, taxes, and fees, loan installments, rent bonuses, compensation for activities completely closed such as tourism, bars, and restaurants, etc.) a part of which free grants and very soft long-term loans for them (up to 15-20 years), otherwise they will not survive, which will be catastrophic and for the employment of with long-term consequences for the country and the people.
Importantly, but surprisingly there is no consideration for them by the Government, which is the increase and immediate start of public investment in infrastructure from the state budget… for roads… schools… hospitals .. water supply and sewerage, energy system, where the reconstruction after the November 26 earthquake has priority (I can’t understand the non-purchase from the stock of the apartments where they are available). These measures affect economic growth. And I would add grants and investments for agriculture and agro-food (the village has 40-50% of the population) as well as opportunities to attract seasonal produce.
For these actions, other countries are borrowing not a little for the necessary expenses and investment, but initially about 10% of GDP. The Albanian government so far has about 1% of GDP… so we are nowhere to be found in the fight against earthquakes, epidemics, and public investment. They are funds that will be used for Albanian citizens, to overcome with as little loss of life and pain and to avoid over the years the catastrophic consequences of not supporting the local economy.
Are the state d.m.th. citizens (individuals and enterprises) with taxes and fees for their work collected by the state, who will reimburse them with their work and sacrifices, in as many years as possible those loans… .bonbon treasury and other solutions, in addition to the aid of the state and those from friends (mentioned above),. This is what the world is doing and publicly declaring that they will do whatever it takes to save people and the country from a health and economic catastrophe. These are actions that are being implemented in the most developed and richest countries in the world, and in the first place, the United States, which has set aside only 2000 billion US for the infrastructure of cities and the country’s roads. dollars and China over 1000 billion us. dollars. These investments, in addition to the hundreds of billions of dollars in expenditures, are extremely large, which we treated above; not only in these two countries but also in Germany Britain, France, Italy and elsewhere, for measures in the field of health and entrepreneurship assistance, so that people do not suffer and the enterprise does not go bankrupt, so an economic catastrophe like that of the 30s of the 20th century.
It is still time for a turn with all-round changes if we want to come out with as few losses as possible in this battle…. with frightening and somewhat unpredictable emergencies… that is, with many unknowns… with the consequences that must be overcome in the shortest possible time and without cursing and condemning the perpetrators of this disaster, the virus is first and foremost understood.