At the beginning of April, the Albanian decided to continue the lockdown status in the country until the end of the coronavirus outbreak. The first case infected by the virus was confirmed on 8 March 2020. This pandemic posed a great challenge to one of Europe's poorest countries, as it was starting to rebuild homes for 17,000 people that were destroyed in an earthquake on 26 November 2019. Given the serious conditions in its neighbouring countries, Albania shut its borders to foreign nationals and has imposed a daily 16-hour curfew. Supermarkets, banks and other essential services are open for eight hours every day.
The preventive measures started almost two weeks before the first coronavirus infection was confirmed in Albania. On 25 February, the head of the National Medical Emergency Center, Skender Brataj, announced a set of protocols in case COVID-19 spread to Albania, urging the citizens who suspect they have contracted the virus to call a national emergency number to ask for help. Until 8 April, Albania confirmed 400 cases of COVID-19 and the death toll remained 22 on the same day. The good news is that 154 of the patients (38.5%) recovered and that the number of new cases has reduced over the past four days after reaching 29 as the highest number of cases to be recorded in one day on 4 April.
While almost every country in the world has been struggling to fight the coronavirus pandemic, on 28 March, Albania decided to send 30 doctors and nurses to Italy, which is one of the worst affected nations by the novel coronavirus in the world. This act of solidarity and friendship was very much appreciated and acknowledged internationally especially that it comes from a nation whose economy has been struggling with different hardships and that it is not a member of the European Union yet. Albania is the only European OIC member country and it has the 24th largest number of confirmed COVID-19 infections among the OIC countries.