Almost 1,000 Covid infections in Luxembourg over weekend
Luxembourg registered almost 1,000 new Covid-19 infections over the weekend, adding a further five deaths as a result of the virus, according to figures published by the Health Ministry on Monday, as concerns grow amid a surge in cases and countries across Europe re-impose tougher restrictions.
Health authorities recorded 919 new infections between Friday and Sunday, with around 10% of tests carried out returning a positive result.
The five deaths over the weekend mean that 903 people have now died from Covid-19 in Luxembourg since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
Hospitals across Luxembourg have begun to postpone operations to deal with an increasing number of admissions linked to Covid-19, the health ministry said last week, although people in hospital with coronavirus are well below the peak of about 200 per day in November - a sign that the vaccine is doing its job.
However, concerns are growing about a spike in infections linked to the new Omicron variant across Europe and the re-introduction of restrictions in many countries, such as the Netherlands, which entered a full lockdown on Sunday.
Luxembourg recorded its highest number of daily cases in 2021 last week, with 711 infections registered on Tuesday. The country's parliament approved new measures last Thursday aimed at combating a surge in cases, with more restrictions targeting the unvaccinated.
Workers will now have to show proof of vaccination, testing or recovery before entering their workplaces from 15 January. The law, which will expire on 22 February, does not include further restrictions or lockdowns.
Protests against the measures continued on Saturday, when several hundred people gathered in Luxembourg City. However, the crowd was smaller than on previous weekends and there was no repeat of the disorder seen at the start of the month, when demonstrators stormed a Christmas market in the capital.
The National Health Directorate was forced to "re-examine and tighten" procedures following an incident in which a senior employee was reported to have asked a colleague to forge a certificate for him showing a negative test result, Health Minister Paulette Lenert said on Monday.
The employee who was asked to produce the forged copy refused and reported the matter. The senior staff member was then suspended and reported to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, according to reports in the Lëtzebuerger Land newspaper, which first published the story last month.