About a year ago, Italy, and then Europe, including Albania, rushed to impose harsh quarantines in the face of the risk of a pandemic that was not well known at the time but was causing a rapid rise in fatalities across the country.
One year after the onset of the pandemic, the effects of Covid-19 are evident, both in increasing mortality and in the economy. Europe has recorded the worst recession since World War II, while the increase in mortality in EU countries in 2020 has fluctuated on average by 10-20% more compared to the average of the past 5 years.
The effects have been visible in Albania, but higher in increasing the mortality of the population. On the contrary, the economy has somehow recovered from the strong quarantine in March-May, because unlike other European countries, which tightened again in winter, only light restrictive measures were taken in our country.
Preliminary data from the Civil Registry show that from March 2020 to February 2021 there are about 8,500 more deaths compared to the same period a year ago, with an increase of about 39%, compared to the same periods of the previous year.
The Civil Registry reports the deaths that occurred in the territory of the Republic of Albania (including foreigners). Compared to INSTAT data, which reports only the deaths of Albanian residents, the latter has a difference of about 5% less, or about 8,100 more Albanian residents, who turn out to have lost their lives since the onset of the pandemic.
The reported life loss from the pandemic in Covid-19 hospitals as of February 28, according to official sources was 1796, or 4.7 times less than the addition of deaths in a pandemic year.
After a first wave from June to October, where fatalities rose by 47% in August, the second wave of November brought a worsening of the pandemic, following the opening of schools and the onset of winter. A total of 3,373 lives were lost in November, up 111% from the same month a year earlier, the highest percentage increase in Europe in a month throughout the pandemic cycle, but also in relation to all the months so far in the country.
The most tragic month, for the total number of deaths, so far has been December, with 4,167 fatalities, doubling (98%) compared to the same period a year ago (about 2 thousand more deaths). In December, 134 people lost their lives per day, compared to 68 in the same period a year earlier.
Subsequently, the situation calmed down somewhat in January, after the end-of-year school holidays and the addition of movement restrictions, with a 30% increase, or 667 more fatalities.
After December, the worst situation was in February this year, when again a third increased wave of pandemic was observed, but remaining below the levels of the last month of 2020. In February there were about 3500 loss of life in total, with an increase of 79% compared to February 2020, or about 1500 more people. On average in February 125 people lost their lives per day from about 68 people a year ago.
Unlike other European countries, which managed to stem the tide of the pandemic in February, due to strong quarantines implemented in December-January, in Albania, the loss of lives, even those officially declared, continues to be extremely high up. For example, on March 1, Albania reported 20 deaths from the pandemic, Germany 60 and Italy 246. In relation to the respective population, Albania had on March 1 about 7 deaths per 1 million inhabitants, or 10 times higher than Germany ( 0.72) and 1.7 times more than Italy (1.72).
In the last four months alone, November 2020-February 2021, when two waves of pandemics peaked (November-December and then February), about 6,000 additional fatalities were recorded, or about 70% of the total loss of extra lives in a pandemic year.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, in the period March 2020-February 2021, 83 people per day have lost their lives, compared to 60 people per day in the same period a year ago.