During the week from 1 to 7 February, the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 increased from 999 to 1,140 (+14%), as did the number of their identified close contacts, from 2,774 cases the previous week to 4,067 (+47% ).
The number of PCR tests performed during the week of 1 to 7 February has also increased from 51,337 to 61,488.
As of 7 January, the number of active infections was 2,465 (compared to 2,276 on 31/01), while the number of people healed increased from 47,878 to 48,816.
The average age of those diagnosed as COVID-19 positive decreased to 34,1 years.
In the hospitals, the situation was stable, with 50 hospitalisations in normal care and 13 hospitalisations in intensive care of confirmed COVID patients for the week of 1 to 7 February, compared to 55, respectively 13, the previous week.
The two COVID-19 Consultation Centres (CCCs), located in Kirchberg and Esch-sur-Alzette, have recorded a total of 7,269 visits since their opening, including 429 visits for the week of 1 to 7 February, which is slightly higher than the previous week (359).
Positivity rate and incidence rate
For the reference period, the effective reproduction rate (R) slightly decreased from 1.10% to 1.05%. A decrease regarding the positivity rate on all tests performed (prescriptions, Large Scale Testing) can also be noticed, dropping from 1.95% to 1.85% compared to the previous week (average over the week). It should be noted that the positivity rate for tests carried out on prescription, i.e. for people with symptoms, has dropped below the 5% mark, to 4.83% compared to 5.19% the previous week.
The 7-day incidence rate is 182 per 100,000 residents. Note that for the week of 25 January, the incidence rate was 160 cases per 100,000 residents over 7 days.
The incidence rate continues to rise in the 0-14 age group (+46%), the 30-44 age group (+29%) and in the 60-74 age group (+41%). The 10-14 age group has the highest incidence rate whereas the 60-74 age group continues to have an incidence rate which is almost half as high as the rest of the population.
Quarantine and isolation
For the week from 1 to 7 February, 2,155 people were in isolation (+18%) and 4,295 in quarantine (+21% compared to the previous week).
For the 1,140 new cases, the family circle remains by far the most frequent source of transmission of COVID-19 infections with 38.6%, followed by the education sector (14%) and the work place (4%). The rate of contaminations for which the source is not clearly attributable stands at 32.5%.
The evolution of the variants
Since the British variant B.1.1.7 began circulating in Luxembourg on 19 December 2020, 860 samples have been sequenced by the National Health Laboratory (LNS). Among these samples, 114 variants B.1.1.7 were detected (+18 compared to the previous week). As for the South African variant B.1.351, the sequencing of which started on 11 January 2021, 14 cases were detected (+10), the last sequencing dating back to 30 January 2021.
It is important to note that these figures are not representative. Indeed, the LNS does not systematically have the metadata to situate the samples in time or in the context in which they were taken. Certain sequences have been targeted. For example, of the 143 samples sequenced during the week of January 25, more than 30% were sequenced at the request of the Health Inspectorate within the framework of Contact Tracing. Furthermore, since there is a delay of 7-10 days to obtain the genotyping results, the data is incomplete for the week of 1 - 7 February.
The Health Directorate and the National Health Laboratory are in the process of setting up the means required to have a representative sample of the general population based on samples from different regions and age categories with the help of medical analysis laboratories. The aim is to have a real time epidemiological surveillance system for variants by the end of February. In the meantime, it is not appropriate to extrapolate or estimate the prevalence of variants among the population from the sequencing data.
Vaccinations: update on the situation
For the week of 1 to 7 February, a total of 5,198 doses were administered. 3,190 people received a first shot. The number of people having received their second shot rose considerably to 2,008 (compared to 439 the previous week)
Wastewater monitoring in Luxembourg as part of SARS-CoV-2
The latest CORONASTEP report drawn up by the LIST (Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology), the contamination level of the 13 analysed wastewater treatment plants indicates an average prevalence of the virus in waste water at national and regional level for the week of 1 to 7 February. A slight downward trend continues at the national level.
All CORONASTEP reports are available on the LIST website: https://www.list.lu/en/covid-19/coronastep/.
Press release by the Ministry of Health and the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST)