Hospital bans visitors as staff fall ill to Covid
The main hospital centre covering southern Luxembourg began barring visitors on Friday, becoming the latest institution struggling to keep operating as more workers fall ill to Covid-19 or are forced to stay home as a precaution, amid a surge in infections across the country.
The Emile Mayrisch hospital centre, also called CHEM, said there has been a series of infection clusters at its sites in Esch-Sur-Alzette, Niederkorn and Dudelange.
"This has caused an unprecedented increase in Covid-19 cases among our healthcare and medical staff, forcing us to significantly reorganize teams to compensate for people absent from their workplace," the medical centre said in a statement on Friday.
To protect staff and patients from the highly contagious Omicron variant, CHEM said it will no longer allow most visitors. Exceptions will be allowed for the fathers of newborn infants or two people visiting pediatric patients, the hospital said.
It comes as bus companies operating in northern Luxembourg announced that further services would be cut "following the repercussions of the Omicron variant on the workforce of the RGTR network," the Transport Ministry said on Friday.
Luxembourg has been experiencing a record number of people infected with Covid-19, with cases topping 3,000 twice in the past ten days, according to the Health Ministry. There were just over 2,500 new infections recorded on Friday, with more than one in three tests carried out returning a positive result.
Despite the spike in infections, vaccines have helped keep the number of people hospitalised at half of the peak hit during spring 2021 and intensive-care cases at just a third of last spring's wave.