TIRANA, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- The restrictions taken by the Albanian authorities to limit the spread of COVID-19 infections will remain in force for an indefinite period of time, the Technical Committee of Experts on the coronavirus situation in Albania announced in a press conference on Wednesday.
Deputy Minister of Health and head of the Technical Committee of Experts Mira Rakacolli told reporters that curfew hours and restrictive measures will continue to be in force for an unlimited period of time in an effort to contain the virus spread.
"The measures we imposed seem to slow the virus transmission and therefore we have decided that the measures will remain in force for an unlimited period of time. Restaurants and bars will continue to stop their activities at 10 p.m.," Rakacolli said.
When asked whether the Technical Committee of Experts has advised the government on a total lockdown during the weekend, Rakacolli denied, adding that the authorities will impose new measures in case the situation gets worse.
On Nov. 9, Albanian authorities decided to restrict movement from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. local time for three weeks and ordered closure of all bars and restaurants during the hours in the period in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.
On Nov. 17, the Technical Committee of Experts decided to ban gatherings with more than 10 people in open and closed spaces, to ban political meetings and gatherings, as well as conferences, celebrations, wedding and funeral ceremonies.
Currently in Albania, universities are offering classes online, while teaching in the pre-university education system is alternated between online classes and in-school learning.
On Wednesday, health authorities reported 705 new coronavirus cases and 17 COVID-19 related-deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 39,719, with 19,912 recoveries and 839 fatalities.
As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, countries including France, China, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States are racing to find a vaccine.
According to the website of the World Health Organization, as of Nov. 26, there were 213 COVID-19 candidate vaccines being developed worldwide, and 49 of them were in clinical trials.