First death in a month as Covid-19 cases skyrocket
The number of people testing positive for Covid-19 in Luxembourg last week jumped by more than 600% and the country recorded its first death in more than a month, the health ministry said on Wednesday.
One person died of the disease on Tuesday – the first since 1 June. On the same day, 201 people tested positive - the highest number of cases in one day since 28 April, when 207 people tested positive, health officials said.
The disease struck 787 people between 28 June and 4 July – up from 107 a week before – and 84% of them were aged between 15 and 44. Despite the skyrocketing, only three people were in hospital last week.
The huge surge in positive cases came even though fewer people took a PCR test.
The soaring infections came after national day celebrations on 23 June, with more than 300 people who tested positive as of 5 July saying they were in Luxembourg City for the celebrations, Health Minister Paulette Lenert said in response to a parliamentary question on Tuesday. Some felt people were standing too close together, not wearing masks or not respecting social distancing, Lenert wrote. Some venues were not applying CovidCheck rules, she said.
Reproduction rate surpasses 2%
Covid-19 has killed 819 people in Luxembourg since the start of the pandemic. Nearly 600,000 vaccines have been administered so far, with almost 263,000 people fully vaccinated.
Last week, 1,790 people were in quarantine, nearly quadrupling from the previous week, while the number of people forced to self-isolate doubled to 589.
The disease was also spreading fast, health officials said. The reproduction rate jumped from 0.86 to 2.08, meaning that each infected person on average infected more than two people they contacted.
The average age of those testing positive remained at 29. The average age of the three people in hospital last week was 46 years, down from 60 the previous week. Prime Minister Xavier Bettel was admitted to hospital on Sunday and will stay there until at least Thursday morning, when he was due to undergo further tests.
The Delta variant of the virus causing Covid-19, which was first identified in India and is believed to be more transmissible than other mutations, was responsible for 61% of cases detected at the end of June, the health ministry said. Just under a quarter were due to the Brazilian variant, known as Gamma.
The country’s large-scale testing programme took to the road on Wednesday, with a mobile unit offering people the opportunity to have a Covid-19 test at the City Concorde shopping complex in Bertrange, just outside the capital.