Luxembourg failing to shake Covid as winter looms
Luxembourg is failing to stamp out Covid-19 from the country as the colder winter months draw closer, with medical chiefs hoping booster jabs for nurses and doctors can stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Luxembourg’s Health Ministry reported 347 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, with the number of people who tested positive for Covid-19 in the first week of November increasing by 8% to 1,211 from a week earlier.
“The current situation is worrying,” Health Minister Paulette Lenert said at a press conference on Wednesday. Nevertheless, hospitals are not so full that any non-Covid related surgeries have had to be postponed, she added.
In another sign the virus is still not abating, Coronavirus levels in wastewater were shown to be prevalent during the first week of November, according to the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology.
The government is hoping booster jabs for nurses and doctors, and for people over 65 will help keep the virus at bay and keep the number of patients that need to go to hospital down. Out of the 42 people hospitalised with Covid in the first week of the month, 27 were unvaccinated.
The Grand Duchy began rolling out a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to people aged over 75 and other vulnerable groups in September, after previously only giving it out to those with severely weakened immune systems, such as those who have had an organ transplant.
Luxembourg lags behind many of its EU counterparts in introducing booster shots to the wider population. Germany is calling on all adults to get booster shots six months after their second dose, Bloomberg reported, while officials in France are also encouraging people to have a booster shot.
In Spain, more than 1 million people have received a booster shot since the government approved the measure in early October.
In another bid to make life easier during winter, Luxembourg and France have prolonged an agreement on teleworking, which means cross-border workers will now be allowed to work from home as much as they want without being taxed extra until the end of the year, the Social Security Ministry said.
Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, if a certain number of days teleworking – 29 in the case of France – was exceeded, workers would also be taxed in his or her place of residence, meaning they had to pay double taxes.