Daily infections record as vaccination progresses

Luxembourg on Wednesday reported a new infections record with more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases diagnosed Library photo: Romain Gamba / Maison Moderne

Luxembourg on Wednesday reported a new infections record with more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases diagnosed Library photo: Romain Gamba / Maison Moderne

Like other European countries, Luxembourg on Wednesday reported a daily infections record, with 1,053 new cases of the coronavirus diagnosed.

Out of the new cases diagnosed, the infection rate was 182.58 per 100,000 unvaccinated people versus 158.04 vaccinated people. In the weekly report from 20 to 26 December, also published on Wednesday, infection among unvaccinated people was twice as likely with 623.89 cases per 100,000, compared to 324.55 per 100,000 vaccinated people.

Luxembourg is in the process of rolling out booster shots, with an additional dose recommended five months after a complete vaccination schedule with the Pfizer/Biontech or Moderna vaccines, four months after AstraZeneca and four weeks after Johnson & Johnson, to increase immunity and better protect against the new omicron variant.

The so-called 2G+ CovidCheck system, requiring a self-test for people who have been vaccinated without a booster shot or recovered from infection, has been in force since 25 December in the hospitality sector.

Nearly a quarter of tests carried out on Tuesday came back positive on Wednesday (23.43%) with the reproductive rate at 1.12, above a target threshold of 1, meaning one person infects on another person. 

One more person died after testing positive for Sars-CoV-2, bringing the virus death toll to 911. Nineteen patients received intensive care in hospital in addition to 47 people being treated on a regular ward for complications from an infection.

During the week from 20 to 26 December, 13 out of 19 intensive care patients weren’t vaccinated.

The country’s vaccination rate overall, progressed to 80% of the eligible population aged 12 or over. The government had previously set an 85% vaccination rate to begin lifting pandemic restrictions, modelled after Denmark which was the first EU countries to lift all rules and mark “freedom day” on 10 September. It has since reintroduced lockdown measures to curb the spread of the omicron variant.

The overview of weekly infections appeared to show a stabilisation of new cases, with 2,688 new cases reported, down 1% from 2,727 infections the week before. An analysis of wastewater from treatment plants showed a similar trend with the level of virus traces found stable at a high level.

There was no information in the report on the presence of variants in the country, which is published separately by the national laboratory. The latest details published date to the week from 6 to 12 December, when the delta variant accounted for 99.2% of cases compared to 0.8% for omicron. 

Wednesday’s new record came as France also reported its highest daily infection tally since the start of the pandemic, with 208,000 new cases. Denmark, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain this week have all reported new case records. The UK reported a high of 183,037 cases, with the US posting 267,000 new cases on Tuesday, with omicron accounting for 59%.