Luxembourg health minister Paulette Lenert, pictured, appealed to the public to limit movement as covid-19 infections reached 416
Photo: Matic Zorman /archives
The Luxembourg government appeared to call for a voluntary lockdown as the number of daily infections jumped to 416 on Tuesday.
Speaking in a televised press conference on Wednesday, health minister Paulette Lenert (LSAP) called on businesses to reimplement teleworking where possible and on individuals to limit movement on a voluntary basis.
“Ask yourself, do I have to go out, to eat at that restaurant? Could I postpone it and help our health system continue to function? It’s important to ask this question and make a decision,” the minister said on 21 October.
She stressed that there were no immediate plans to enforce containment measures because the majority of new infections concerned younger, lower risk age groups.
The minister said that 48% of the total were aged 15-29 and 30-44. “If you look back through time, the population of new infections aged over 75 doesn’t increase at the same rate as other age categories,” she said. “It would be alarming if we saw a change of more elderly people getting infected.”
Contact tracing services, however, continue to be stretched and Lenert appealed to the public to reach out to their contacts directly as soon as they test positive.
According to figures published on Wednesday, last week contact tracing accounted for 37% of newly detected infections. Thanks to this process, these people were able to self-isolate and avoid infecting others.
Over the coming days, the government will concentrate on raising awareness, urging the public to continue to observe the protection measures and limit movement where possible.
The cabinet is expected to meet on Friday and Lenert said officials would work through the weekend. This week, the new Kirchberg testing centre opened at the former national library. Triage centres in Esch-sur-Alzette and Luxexpo in Luxembourg City are “ready to open”, the minister said. “Today everything is OK but it can change,” she stated. “Next week we will see if figures go up even more.”