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Covid-19 claims five more lives over the weekend

Covid-19 claims five more lives over the weekend

by Zuzanna REDA-JAKIMA 07.03.2021 From our online archive
Death toll since the start of the pandemic reaches 662
Covid patient receiving hospital treatment
Covid patient receiving hospital treatment
Photo credit: AFP

Five people died from Covid-19 on Saturday, and 140 more tested positive for the coronavirus, the health ministry said on Sunday, numbers in line with Luxembourg's hope for a stable progression of the disease, which could allow it to ease restrictions after 2 April.

To curb the spread of the virus, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel on Friday prolonged the current restrictions until 2 April. Bars will remain closed and restaurants can only provide take-away and delivery services; the country remains under a overnight curfew between 2300 and 0600 hrs.

Bettel provided a glimmer of hope that bars and restaurants could reopen next month and that some other restrictions could also come to an end, but stressed that the number of infections would need to remain stable in the coming weeks and that there would be "no quick return to normality".

In the meantime, Italy, which reopened some of its restaurants, is mulling tightening rules again. Prime Minister Mario Draghi's government is considering making the entire country a high-risk “red” zone at least during weekends, to counter a surge in the coronavirus pandemic.

Among measures being considered by the government and a panel of medical and science experts are automatically turning regions into red zones if the threshold of 250 weekly virus cases per 100,000 inhabitants is breached, and closing shopping malls, Italian newspapers reported on Sunday.

In Luxembourg, this rate stood at 210 cases per 100,000, the latest weekly statistics from the Health Ministry published on Wednesday showed.

The European Union's vaccination rate lags behind many other developed countries and Luxembourg is one of the worst performers in the bloc. 

EU countries have received only about a third of the quarterly target for Covid-19 vaccines produced by Moderna, according to a delivery schedule published by a Hungarian official on Facebook on Sunday.

The bloc was slated to receive 10 million doses in the January-March period, with deliveries set to accelerate later in the year, the data show. That compares to just over 3.4 million distributed so far since the vaccine was approved in January, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

(Additional reporting by Bloomberg)

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