During the week from 15 to 21 February, the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 increased from 1,099 to 1,249 (+13,7%), while the number of their identified close contacts has however decreased from 2,860 cases the previous week to 2,766 (-3,3% ).
The number of PCR tests performed during the week of 15 to 21 February has decreased from 70,617 to 60,717.
As of 21 February, the number of active infections was 2,613 (compared to 2,597 on 14.02), while the number of people healed increased from 49,770 to 50,931. The average age of those diagnosed as COVID-19 positive increased to 38,1 years.
During the week in question, there were 16 new deaths related to COVID-19, compared to 11 the previous week. The average age of the deceased is 80 years.
In the hospitals, the situation was stable, with 59 hospitalisations in normal care and 15 hospitalisations in intensive care of confirmed COVID patients for the week of 15 to 21 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 8,098 visits since their opening, including 430 visits for the week of 15 to 21 February, which is slightly higher than the previous week (399).
Positivity rate and incidence rate
For the reference period, the effective reproduction rate (R) slightly increased from 1.00% to 1.05%. An increase can also be observed regarding the positivity rate on all tests performed (prescriptions, Large Scale Testing) rising from 1.56% to 2.06% 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, increased considerably to 5.70%, compared to 3.52% the previous week.
The 7-day incidence rate is 200 per 100,000 residents. Note that for the week of February 8, the incidence rate was 176 cases per 100,000 residents over 7 days. We can notice an increase of the incidence rate in all age categories except for children aged 0-14 years (-24%). This is probably due to the closure of the schools the last 2 weeks. Compared to the previous week the age group 60-74 and 30-44 years have seen the highest increase (+75% and +49% respectively) The age group 30-44 now has the highest incidence rate whereas the 60-74 age group continues to have the lowest incidence rate.
Quarantine and isolation
For the week from 15 to 21 February, 2,511 people were in isolation (+4%) and 2,747 in quarantine (-28% compared to the previous week).
For the 1,249 new cases, the family circle remains by far the most frequent source of transmission of COVID-19 infections with 45.6%, followed by the education sector (5.7%) and the work place (4.8%). The rate of contamination for which the source is not clearly attributable increased to 34.9%.
Vaccinations: update on the situation
For the week of 15 to 21 February, a total of 8,092 doses were administered. 6,004 people received a 1st dose and 2,088 received a 2nd dose.
The schedule of the amounts of doses to which Luxembourg is theoretically entitled according to the pro rata of 0.14% of the Luxembourg population, as provided for in the contracts already concluded by the Commission with the various manufacturers, as well as the amounts already delivered to the Grand Duchy to date and expected to be delivered by the end of April 2021, can be consulted in the attached weekly report (PDF).
To date, it is therefore planned to have vaccinated 69,887 people by the end of March 2021. It should be noted, however, that the amount of doses is subject to adjustments from week to week based on manufacturers' production capacities and deliveries.
The evolution of the variants
As announced in the last editions of the weekly report, the National Health Laboratory (LNS) has, over the last few weeks, set up a sequencing system to provide representative results for the entire population of Luxembourg.
Regarding the representative sampling of 132 tests carried out for the week of 8 to 14 February, the following distribution of variants can be observed:
- the UK variant (B.1.1.7) represents 76 cases = 57.6%,
- the South African variant SA (B.1.351) represents 6 cases = 4.5%,
- no new cases of the Brazilian variant (P.1 or P.2) were found.
Note that the sampling rate of 132 is equivalent to 12%, which is higher than the optimal rate of 10% recommended by ECDC in order to have a representative sample.
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 level of contamination of the 13 treatment plants sampled during the week of 15 to 21 February indicates a high prevalence of the virus in waste water at national level. As in the previous week, a slight upward trend was again noticeable at the beginning of week 7 but it did not continue in the second part of the week. However, we must remain cautious in our interpretations and wait for the results of the next analyses to be able to identify a real trend.
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)