Three-quarters of intensive care patients unvaccinated
Almost three-quarters of Covid-19 patients in intensive care in Luxembourg hospitals last week were unvaccinated - or not fully vaccinated - official figures showed on Wednesday, just hours after the government introduced fresh restrictions to fight a surge of the Omicron variant of the virus.
The vast majority of intensive care patients last week, 16 out of 22, had not yet yet received a full dose of the vaccine. Unvaccinated people are also more than twice as likely to get infected in the first place, the statistics show.
The number of new infections rose by 5% over the past week to 2,700 new cases, with over half of those – 1,482 - unvaccinated, the ministry said. Almost 80% of people aged 12 years and over are fully immunised.
Luxembourg’s infection rates have kept on creeping upwards, with 600 cases alone recorded on Wednesday. Nine people died from the virus in each of the past two weeks, and a further three died since the weekend.
The government announced new measures on Wednesday, ordering bars and restaurants to close by 23:00 hrs and scrapping large public gatherings, just days after parliament had approved an earlier set of Covid measures. Parliament is set to approve the new rules on Friday.
Luxembourg also re-introduced enhanced support measures for bars and restaurants. The state will now cover all their operating costs - up from 75% currently - with an additional stimulus package of €1,250 per employee.
François Koepp, the secretary general of Horesca, which represents the hospitality sector, said a total shutdown of bars and restaurants had been “narrowly avoided”. However, he would have preferred the government to have a later closing time of midnight. "By doing it an hour earlier, people tend to have a last drink at someone's house," Koepp told The Luxemburger Wort.
There were 72 positive cases recorded last week at a single school in Luxembourg City, the primary section of the Vauban École et Lycée français de Luxembourg.
Luxembourg administered more than 40,000 vaccine doses last week, with almost 34,000 of those booster jabs.