Citizens

Situation update

(06.04.2020)

People tested positive for COVID-19: 2.843

  • Residents: 2.384
  • Non-residents: 459
  • Average age: 46 years
  • Ratio men / women: 51% / 49%

Tests carried out since the beginning of the crisis: 24.291

  • Residents: 20.112
  • Non-residents: 4.179

Deaths: 41*

  • Median age: 86 years

Hospitalisations (COVID-19 and suspected cases): 223

  • Standard care: 191
  • Intensive care: 32**

Hospital discharges: 253

Next update:
07.04.2020 between 17:30 - 18:00

                                      

(* does not include the decease of 1 person from the French Great East region who was hospitalized in Luxembourg)

(** does not include 10 people from the French Great East region)

HOTLINE

Citizens and businesses

8002 8080

From abroad

+352 4977 1 9200

A psychological support service is available 7 days a week, from 7:00 to 23:00.

 

THE CORONAVIRUS

Definition

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause symptoms ranging from the common cold to more serious illnesses, i.e. the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The new coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain of coronavirus that had not yet been identified in humans.

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the latest discovered coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. 

COVID-19 infection remains mild in 80% of cases. In order to delay spreading among the general population and to protect vulnerable and fragile groups in the population, it is important to take a certain number of precautions.

Further information and instructions

What is a pandemic?

There is no universally applicable definition. However, it can be said that a pandemic is the increased and sustained propagation of an extraordinary infectious human disease that rapidly affects all parts of the world and a large part of the global population.

On 11 March, the global pandemic was declared by the World Health Organization (WHO).

How is COVID-19 coronavirus spread?

The COVID-19 infection is transmitted by people carrying the virus. The disease can be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets expelled from the nose or mouth when a person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can persist for some time on objects or surfaces around the person in question. An infection with COVID-19 can occur if you touch these objects or surfaces and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth. COVID-19 can also be contracted by inhaling droplets from a sick person who has just coughed or sneezed. This is why it is important to keep a distance of more than two meters from a sick person and to respect basic hygiene measures.

Is COVID-19 transmissible during sexual intercourse?

COVID-19 is not a sexually transmitted disease. However, the virus being present in the respiratory secretions and being able to be transmitted by direct contact of person to person, sexual intercourse is favorable to a transmission of the virus, if one of the partners is infected.

Can pets transmit COVID-19?

At this time, there is no evidence that pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus.

However, it is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets. This protects you against a variety of common bacteria such as E.coli  and Salmonella that can pass from pets to humans.

According to the World Health Organization, the subsequent predominant route of transmission is human-to-human.

Because animals and humans can sometimes share diseases, people with COVID-19 should avoid close contact with their pets. Whenever possible, leave them with family and friends for the duration of the illness.

PROTECTION

The Government's strategy

As more and more cases have appeared in Europe and Luxembourg and as it has become clear that it is impossible to keep the virus from spreading throughout the general population, the control strategy has been adapted. The strategy does not rely on formal preventive quarantine measures anymore, but instead focuses on isolation, auto-isolation and auto-quarantine. From now on, the accent lies on the protection of fragile populations at risk of severe complications.

How should I behave in order to be as little exposed as possible?

Stay home. Limit your social contacts to the strict minimum. Leaving your house is restricted to the following activities:

  • purchase of food, pharmaceuticals and basic necessities,
  • purchase of agricultural, viticultural, horticultural and forestry products,
  • going to health services,
  • going to the place of work for the exercise of the professional activity,
  • assistance and care for the elderly, minors, dependent people, disabled people or particularly vulnerable people,
  • going to social security services in case of an emergency,
  • going to financial and insurance institutes, as well as postal services, in the event of an emergency,
  • going to commercial entities and service providers as listed under the question: "Which commercial activities continue to be available?"
  • in the case of force majeure or a situation of necessity,
  • individual outdoor leisure activities or limited to people living together, excluding gatherings and under the condition that an interpersonal distance of two metres is respected.
What should I do to protect myself and to avoid being contaminated?

The same precautions should be taken as for any other respiratory infection.

  1. Most importantly: wash your hands regularly and properly.
  2. Do you cough or sneeze? Do it in a tissue or in the crease of the elbow. Throw the tissue in a bin with a lid.
  3. Avoid shaking hands or kissing.
  4. Avoid close contact with sick people (keep a distance of at least 2 meters).
  5. Stay home if possible.
  6. Avoid touching your face with your hands as much as possible.
Who is considered vulnerable

Individuals are considered vulnerable if they are over 65 years of age or if they are already suffering from one of the conditions mentioned hereafter. Those conditions are:

  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Chronic diseases of the respiratory tract
  • Cancer
  • An immune deficiency due to a condition or therapy
I am a vulnerable person, what should I do?

Stay home.

If you absolutely have to go out, observe the following recommendations:

  • go shopping outside of peak hours, if possible;
  • if possible, do your grocery shopping online, for example on the sales platform corona.letzshop.lu, which has been set up especially for vulnerable persons (Hotline 8002 9292);
  • avoid places where it is not possible to keep a security distance of at least 2 metres;
  • avoid public transport.

If you need to exert an economic activity, contact your physician by teleconsultation. In this way, you will be able to clarify whether you can continue your economic activity.

Protect yourself from coronavirus in the same way you'd do for the flu.

Observe the 6 protective measures and avoid poorly ventilated areas with many people.

Does the new coronavirus pose a threat to pregnant women or fetuses?

According to what is currently known, the COVID-19 does not seem to pose a particular threat to pregnant women. Pregnant women are therefore not subject to additional protective measures other than those normally recommended in the context of their pregnancy. 

To this day, the coronavirus has not been associated with fetal anomalies or a heightened risk of a premature birth.

Source: ECDC: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/novel-coronavirus-china/questions-answers

Source: CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/pregnant-women-and-children.html

Can I still visit elderly people in a care facility?

No. As these facilities care for very vulnerable people, visits and leaves are prohibited until further notice.

Directors of structures may allow, depending on the circumstances, exceptions from the prohibition of access and exit for relatives and family members. All persons entering the premises must disinfect their hands and respect the general rules of hygiene.

When to wear a mask?

Wearing a mask in a preventive manner is not recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a means to avoid contamination with the COVID-19 virus.

The WHO recommends that health personnel, who themselves have respiratory symptoms, should wear a surgical mask to avoid contaminating others.

The use of special masks (FFP2) to prevent infection with coronavirus only makes sense in hospitals where patients infected with coronavirus are treated and for the analysis of the body material of these patients.

Wearing an FFP2 mask is necessary for healthcare personnel when a test (nasal swab) is performed on a patient. Similarly, the laboratory technician must wear a surgical mask to be able to handle respiratory samples.

For immunosupressed people, is the wearing of a mask recommended to protect against the a coronavirus infection?

Immuno-compromised people protect themselves like vulnerable people. Only people for whom the attending physician has already prescribed specific protective measures (such as wearing a mask in a hospital) should continue to follow these prescriptions.

What to do in case of anxiety?

The current crisis can be particularly worrying for people. Fear and anxiety can sometimes be overwhelming, especially in cases of social isolation.

  • Choose reliable sources of information such as the government website gouvernement.lu and limit the amount of time you consume online media (check these media 1-2 times a day).
  • Be aware of your anxiety. Observe when you feel anxious and try to understand why. Focus on the here and now, don't brood over uncertainties.
  • Stay close to your usual routine.
  • Talk to calm people.
  • If you feel that your anxiety is becoming more and more pervasive, you can call e.g. SOS Détresse (454545) or the Hotline 8002 9090.

SYMPTOMS AND SCREENING

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms vary from moderate to severe respiratory infection, accompanied by fever, coughing, breathing difficulties and fatigue.  

Symptoms

Loss of the sense of smell (anosmia) and/or taste are other symptoms of the disease. Seniors and people with pre-existing chronic illnesses seem more vulnerable and at risk of complications.

The incubation period, the time between contamination and the appearance of the first symptoms of COVID-19 infection, is maximum 14 days..

How to act.

What if I have a health problem?
  • In case of an emergency, always call 112!
  • If you have a dental problem, call the Hotline 8002 8080, which will put you in touch with the medical on-call service in your area.
  • Consult your family doctor by phone or through teleconsultation (eConsult). If you are a vulnerable person, teleconsultation is the best option!
  • Alternatively, you can visit:

o   the advanced care centres (Centre de soins avancés - CSA) for a medical examination. You do not need a prescription. You can go there if you have symptoms related to COVID-19 or for health problems not related to COVID-19.

o   the hospital emergency departments when you have a serious health problem.

How can I see my family doctor?

General physicians' practices will limit themselves to treating the most severe and/or urgent medical conditions.

Medical teleconsultation has been put in place. This does not necessarily mean that clinics are closed as of now. So as to protect the patients' health, they continue to operate, but only at a distance.  

Your physician is obliged to refer you towards the best possible care for you. If your physician is unavailable, he has to redirect you to another physician who provides continuity of care for his patients.

I urgently need a dentist, where can I go?

Dental practices are closed, only urgent needs are provided by an on-call service of at least two dentists in the north, centre and south of the country.

For urgent dental needs, you can call 8002 8080, which will direct you to the on-call dental practice in your area.

Where do I have to go to find out if I have Coronavirus?

If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection or if you have any doubts about possible COVID-19 contamination(fever with cough, etc.), you can go to one of the Advanced care centres (Centre de soins avancés - CSA).

You do not need a prescription from your physician to visit the CSA. Currently, four CSAs are open:

  • At the Kirchberg in the halls of Luxexpo;
  • In Esch/Belval in the Rockhal;
  • In Ettelbruck in the Däichhal;
  • Grevenmacher (cultural centre).

They operate every day of the week from 8.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. and have replaced the local Medical centres that have so far received patients with symptoms of infection.

Finally, consultation in a CSA is free of charge: you will only be asked to present your  social security card and an identity document.

What is the purpose of a thoracic scanner to detect Coronavirus?

From Monday, 30 March, Luxembourg will set up four containers equipped with thoracic scanners to carry out a diagnosis at the emergency services. This is a device for patients with severe respiratory disorders, as COVID-19 can cause rapidly fatal bilateral pneumonia if not promptly managed in intensive care.

Screening by scanner can confirm the presence of the virus in just a few minutes because COVID-19 causes different radiological signs than other seasonal pneumopathies.

Can my family doctor prescribe a laboratory test to identify the SARS-CoV-2-virus?

A laboratory test carried out on medical prescription can identify the SARS-CoV-2 nfection.  However, this test is of no use in the absence of symptoms. Your personal physician is in the best position to assess the value of the test in your case.

If needed, contact your physician via telephone or by teleconsultation eConsult. Do not go to a physician's office.

If I am suspected of being infected with COVID-19 and a test was executed, who receives the result of the test?

The test result is sent to the physician who requested the test, through a secure channel, who communicates it to the patient without delay. The result is also sent to the Health Inspectorate, in application of the law of 1 August 2018 on the compulsory declaration of certain diseases. At the patient’s request, the result can also be passed on to his/her physician.

Can a blood test detect the presence of the virus?

No. Only a test on respiratory secretions is currently available to detect the presence of the new coronavirus.

Is there a vaccine against COVID-19?

At this stage, there is no vaccine yet. Research is ongoing.

MEASURES AND MEDICAL TREATMENT

I have been tested positive, what's the procedure?

If you have contracted the virus and your state of health allows it, you must stay at home in isolation for two weeks. You will receive two mailings from the Health Directorate (Direction de la santé) within days of the start of your isolation:

  • a set of masks you have to wear in case of contact with other people;
  • an explanation on how you should behave to avoid contaminating others (e.g. what you should do) and an isolation order that will serve as your certificate of incapacity for work.
What does an isolation measure mean?

Isolation applies to people who have a confirmed infection with COVID-19.  This measure is designed to prevent the infected person, who is contagious, from spreading the infection to his surroundings.

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Isolation is prescribed by the physician for 14 days after the onset of symptoms. During this period of confinement at home, contact with other people must be avoided and a surgical mask must be worn whenever the infected person is in the presence of others.

What you and your family should do when you need to be isolated at home

What does an self-isolation measure mean?

Self-isolation applies to people who have symptoms of illness compatible with COVID-19 but whose infection is not confirmed. 

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They should stay home for 7 days from the onset of symptoms and avoid contact with other people if possible. Once the symptoms have disappeared, they must stay at home for 24 more hours.

What to do if you have a fever or are coughing and you are staying at home

What does an self-quarantine measure mean?

The self-quarantine applies to people who have had intimate contact or who live in the same household as a person who is confirmed to be infected.  

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They must stay at home during seven days counting from the day of the confirmed diagnosis. During this period, contact with other people should be avoided.  During the seven days following a self-quarantine, self-monitoring should be carried out.

What to do while in self-quarantine

What does an self-monitoring measure mean?

Self-monitoring lasts 14 days and applies to people who are likely to have been infected with the virus through contact with a sick person.  The purpose of self-monitoring is to detect symptoms of infection as soon as they appear.  The person under self-monitoring measures his or her temperature twice a day and makes sure there are no breathing problems or coughing. During self-monitoring, normal activities can be continued.

What treatment exists for COVID-19 infection?

There is no specific treatment at this time, although research is ongoing. The treatment is therefore mainly symptomatic, i.e. it is similar to the treatment for a cough, respiratory problems or high temperature.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that no medications, including antibiotics, should be self-medicated to prevent or cure COVID-19.

Some specific treatments are being studied and will be tested in clinical trials. Thus, Luxembourg is taking part in the European trial called "Discovery", launched in six countries to test four treatments. The WHO is also due to launch a large international clinical trial.

There is currently no scientific evidence linking ibuprofen to the aggravation of COVID-19 infection.

MANAGEMENT OF THE HEALTH CRISIS

Why has the government decided to limit or forbid certain activities, visits, events and others?

Taking into account the evolution of the coronavirus COVID-19 in our neighbouring
countries and on the national territory, it is necessary to take additional
measures to limit the spread of the virus in the population and to protect
those at risk. It has also become necessary to adapt the organisation of the health care system in order to cope with an increase in the number of people infected with the virus. The proposed measures take into account the pathogenic and contagious nature of the COVID-19 virus. In this context, the respect of appropriate distance rules in interpersonal relations is one of the most effective measures to limit the spread of the virus.

The situation also changed at the international level. As of 11 March, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has qualified the COVID-19 as a global pandemic. Moreover, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) published an updated risk assessment on March 12, underlining the 'necessity of an immediate targeted action' in order to dampen the impact of the pandemic. According to this appreciation, the risk of severe complications for elderly people and people with a chronic condition is high.

On 17 March, the Governement has declared the state of crises on the national territory.

Which protective measures are taken in hospital facilities?

Given that many hospitalised people are vulnerable, visits of hospital patients are prohibited until further notice. If a visit has to take place, all of the necessary protective measures must be taken in order to protect the patients.

The hospital business continuity plan is to be activated.

Health staff leave can be cancelled, if necessary.

Hospitals will deploy their staff mainly to urgent and acute activities.  In order to reduce the risk of the virus circulating in hospitals, medical, surgical and care activities which are not short-term indispensable are cancelled. Patients with COVID-19 who do not show severe complications (cases with light symptoms) will be cared for at home, while respecting the recommended isolation measures.

Are our hospitals and health services prepared to accommodate many patients?

Our hospitals are prepared. A referral service, namely the National Service of Infectious Diseases at the CHL, is in charge of the reception of patients infected with the coronavirus. If the epidemic spreads, other hospitals are also ready to receive patients infected with COVID-19.

Which activities have been cancelled or severely limited?

Establishments receiving the public, activities of a cultural, social, festive, sporting and recreational nature are suspended. Playgrounds are closed.

As a general rule, the gathering of people on public roads is not permitted. Individuals may pursue outdoor leisure activities as long as they remain alone. Otherwise, they must respect the requirement of a distance of two metres between people.

A group of people living under the same roof can also pursue outdoor leisure activities. These people in the same household do not need to distance themselves from each other. Thus, parents and children can e.g. walk around holding hands, parents can carry their child across the street. On the other hand, they must all respect the two-metre distance from people who do not live with them.

When parents are separated and have visitation and accommodation rights and alternate custody of their children, they are not bound by the travel restrictions for the public. This applies to the duration of trips from one household to another.

Owners of pets, e.g. cats, dogs, horses, can travel to ensure their well-being. Thus, when these animals are not at home, they can go to the premises to take care of them. However, here again, no gathering of people is allowed, the distance of at least 2 metres must be respected.

Establishments in the cultural, recreational and sports sectors, as well as restaurants and cafés, are closed. The same applies to company canteens, except where an interpersonal distance of two metres is respected.

The prohibition does not apply to take-away, drive-in and home delivery services.

The prohibition does not apply to hotels. However, hotel restaurants and bars, with the exception of room service and take-out, are closed

I am a volunteer, whom should I contact to offer my help?

Volunteers are recruited via the platform www.govjobs.lu. This way, the national sanitary reserve is optimised. For regulated health professionals, registration is mandatory. The call also goes out to doctors in the process of specialising, students, retirees and people on leave without pay.

This platform also seeks to coordinate the call for volunteers who wish to support health-related efforts (e.g. administrative officers, educators, carers, cleaning agents) and lists the specific needs. On govjos.lu, you can match your skills and experience to the offers of reinforcement, and communicate your contact details and availability using the online form. The offers posted on these pages are regularly updated, don't hesitate to browse through them.

For all other questions related to COVID-2019, please consult the websites of the Luxembourg Government www.covid19.lu, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) www.ecdc.eu or the World Health Organization (WHO) www.who.int.

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