No new virus deaths in week for first time since September
Luxembourg continues to make strides in its fight against the pandemic despite a gradual easing of health restrictions, registering no new deaths and a 42% drop in new infections last week, official data showed on Wednesday.
There were just 12 people in hospital at the end of last week and two more in intensive care, the health ministry said on Wednesday. It was the first week that nobody died from Covid-19 since September.
As pressure on Luxembourg's hospitals eases, vaccinations reached a new record over the week, with more than 50,000 doses of a Covid vaccine dished out between 6 and 13 June, breaking the previous week's record of 44,000.
A total of 53.5% of all adults in Luxembourg have received at least one shot with one of the available vaccines, while 38% are now fully vaccinated, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said.
In a sign of hope for younger people, Luxembourg opened two waiting lists - one for the Johnson&Johnson vaccine and one for the AstraZeneca jab - to all adults on Saturday. Just over 12,000 volunteers have already signed up for the single-shot J&J vaccine, the health ministry told Radio Latina on Wednesday.
On Sunday, Luxembourg introduced the new CovidCheck certificate, which will make access to restaurants and bars less cumbersome for fully vaccinated people or those who recovered from the disease in the last six months.
Despite a significant improvement in the country's fight against the pandemic, a new variant known as the Delta mutation, first detected in India, remains a concern. Travellers returning from the UK must take two tests and undergo a one-week quarantine when returning to the Grand Duchy.
The mutation, which is more transmissible than previous strains and now accounts for over 90% of all new infections, led the government to postpone the UK's last lockdown easing on Monday.
Sequencing showed that the Indian mutation is also expanding rapidly in Luxembourg, causing 30% of all new cases between 31 May and 6 June, up from 15% the week before. The Alpha variant, first discovered in the UK, is still the most dominant in Luxembourg, making up 47% of all cases, though it is on a downward trend, according to the National Health Laboratory.