The number of people testing positive for COVID-19 has increased from 5,968 to 7,779 cases (+30%) for the week of 14 to 20 March 2022.
Among the 7,779 new infections, the incidence rate of positive non-vaccinated persons is 1,119.6 per 100,000 inhabitants and 1,268.3 per 100,000 inhabitants for those who had a complete vaccination.
Among hospital admissions, 16 out of 36 patients in normal care were not vaccinated (20 patients had a complete vaccination), while 1 out of 3 patients of intensive care was not vaccinated.
The calculated incidence rate per 100,000 hospitalised persons (5 years and older) with a complete vaccination pattern is 4.37 in normal care and 0.44 in intensive care. The calculated incidence rate per 100,000 non-vaccinated hospitalized persons (5 years and older) is 11.13 in normal care and 0.70 in intensive care.
The number of PCR tests performed during the week of 14 to 20 March has increased from 17,857 to 20,228.
75 people reported a positive rapid antigen test (RAT) for the reporting week, compared to 83 the previous week, bringing the number of positive results performed by a health-care worker to a total of 2,297. It should be noted that positive RATs are not included in the calculation of the positivity rate.
As of 20 March, the number of active infections has increased to 13,929 compared to 10,919 on 13 March, while the number of people healed increased from 182,014 to 186,786. The average age of those diagnosed as positive for COVID-19 is 36.7 years.
For the week of 14 to 20 March, 9 new deaths related to COVID-19 have been reported. The average age of the deceased is 88 years.
In the hospitals, there were 36 new admissions of confirmed COVID-19 patients in normal care, compared to 30 the previous week. The number of occupied beds in the intensive care unit decreased from 4 to 3. The average age of hospitalised patients is 62 years.
Positivity rate and incidence rate
For the reference period, the effective reproduction rate (R) remains stable, with 1.12 compared to1.12% the previous week, while the positivity rate on all tests performed (prescriptions, contact tracing) increased from 33.42% to 38.46%.
The 7-day incidence rate increased to 1,226 per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to 940 per 100,000 inhabitants the previous week.
Re-infections as well as certified self-tests in schools were included in the calculation of incidence rates. Compared to the previous week, the incidence rate has increased in all age groups.
The largest increase was recorded in the 45-59 age group (+55%), followed by the 60-74 age group (+49%), the 15-29 age group (+36%), the 30-44 age group (+30%), the 0-14 age group (+13%) and the 75+ age group (+11%). In the week of 14 to 20 March, school-certified self-tests accounted for 25% of cases among 0-14 year olds and 9% of cases among 15-29 year olds.
The lowest incidence rate is recorded in the 75+ age group (895 cases per 100,000 inhabitants), while the highest incidence rate is recorded in the 0-14 age group with 1,841 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
As the number of new infections remains high, the identification of sources is currently not possible for all cases. Of the 9,368 resident cases recorded in the week of 14-20 March 2022, the data of 2,896 called cases were reviewed and the source determined.
The family circle remains the most frequent source of transmission of COVID-19 infections (33%), followed by education (13%), leisure activities (7%), work (5.2%) and travel abroad (4.7%). The percentage of undetermined sources has slightly decreased (26.2%).
Vaccinations: update on the situation
For the week of 14 to 20 March, a total of 2,310 doses were administered. 141 people received a 1st dose, 828 a 2nd dose, 1,094 people received one complementary dose to a full vaccination, and 247 received a second complementary dose to a full vaccination, bringing the total number of vaccines administered as of 22 March to 1,273,008.
471,423 people have a complete vaccination pattern, which corresponds to a vaccination rate of 78.4% of the eligible population (i.e. the 5+ population).
COVID-19 vaccination: a new helpline to address the fears of non-vaccinated people
Although COVID-19 vaccines have been proven to save lives, a significant number of citizens are still reluctant to get vaccinated.
Unlike the traditional helpline run by the Health Directorate, the CHL helpline is able to answer people's medical questions. At this stage of the pandemic, it is important to give people who are still hesitant the opportunity to talk to a medical expert about their doubts or fears in an intimate setting. It is in such one-to-one meetings that people can then make an informed decision about vaccination.
The helpline, which can be reached by telephone on 4411-9955, is available free of charge from Monday to Friday between 2pm and 6pm.
Languages spoken: Luxembourgish, German, French, English and Portuguese
"Pop Up" Vaccination: Lëtzebuerg léisst sech impfen
To increase vaccination coverage, the Government continues to facilitate access to vaccination by deploying temporary vaccination spots ("Pop Up" Vaccination) and mobile teams will be present in high-traffic areas (pedestrian zones, shopping malls, events organised by some municipalities).
The evolution of the variants
Variant sequencing data are published every Friday on the website of the National Health Laboratory (Laboratoire national de Santé, LNS) https://lns.lu/en/publications-en/.
Wastewater monitoring in Luxembourg as part of SARS-CoV-2
According to the latest CORONASTEP report drawn up by the LIST (Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology), the contamination level of the 13 wastewater treatment plants analysed during the tenth week of 2022 still shows a high prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater at national level. The fluxes of SARS-CoV-2 measured this week are increasing compared to those observed last week. Similar trends were observed for the different wastewater treatment plants analysed, where a slight increase in SARS-CoV-2 contamination was observed.
All CORONASTEP reports are available on the LIST website: https://www.list.lu/en/covid-19/coronastep/.
Press release by the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth, the National Health Laboratory (LNS) and the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST)