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Positive Covid tests drop by half at weekend

Positive Covid tests drop by half at weekend

by Heledd PRITCHARD 3 min. 14.02.2022 From our online archive
The sharp fall in infections compared to the previous weekend comes as Luxembourg loosens its pandemic restrictions
Although the numbers of new infections tend to be lower at weekends, they have now dropped sharply for two consecutive weeks
Although the numbers of new infections tend to be lower at weekends, they have now dropped sharply for two consecutive weeks
Photo credit: Lusa

The number of people testing positive for Covid in Luxembourg dropped by half compared with the previous weekend, just days after the country eased restrictions, figures from the Health Ministry showed on Monday.

More than 1,400 people returned a positive Covid test in the three days between Friday and Sunday – representing a drop of more than half of the 3,000 new infections detected the previous weekend. The weekend prior to that, at the end of January, around 4,500 people tested positive.

The continuous decline in cases comes as Luxembourg loosens pandemic restrictions. Under changes which took effect from Friday, bars and restaurants can now stay open beyond 23.00 and CovidCheck rules have also been eased.

"The positive situation in hospitals is allowing us to get back to a more normal way of life," Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said earlier this month, when announcing plans to relax restrictions.

There were only 15 new infections out of 392 tests on Sunday, according to the ministry’s latest data published on Monday.

Weekend figures tend to be lower due to fewer people going to get tested, and with the current school holiday having just begun, testing centres were less busy at the weekend.

However, figures from throughout last week show the numbers also slowly dropping. The number of people testing positive during the first week of February also fell by a quarter, to 11,000, compared with the previous week, the data showed.

It is in sharp contrast to January, when the number of daily infections hit the highest levels the country had seen since the pandemic began in March 2020, largely attributed to the spread of the highly infectious Omicron variant. The largest number was recorded on 20 January, with more than 3,000 positive tests in a single day.

There are currently 63 people in hospital, 12 of whom are in intensive care. Seven people died of the virus over the weekend, bringing Luxembourg’s total death toll to 976.

Just over a quarter of Luxembourg residents have yet to get vaccinated, Health Minister Paulette Lenert said last week. The most vulnerable, such as people undergoing chemotherapy, can now have a fourth dose of the Covid vaccine.

Under the new rules, mandatory quarantine for those who have been in contact with an infected person has ended, gatherings of up to 2,000 people are again allowed and regulations around vaccines and testing have been further relaxed.

The CovidCheck system – whereby workers have to show proof of a negative test, vaccination or recent recovery from the virus in order to enter – is no longer compulsory for entry to companies in the private sector, although several firms have said they intend to keep the checks in place. 

For hospitality and leisure venues, those who have not yet received a booster jab will no longer be asked to take an additional test proving they are not infected.

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