Luxembourg's Ministry of Health, together with the National Health Laboratory (Laboratoire National de Santé - LNS) and the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), has issued a COVID-19 retrospective for the week of 19 to 25 July 2021.
During this period, the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 decreased for the third consecutive week, from 727 to 566 (down 22%), whilst the number of their identified close contacts fell from 2,431 to 1,599 (down 34%).
Among the 566 new infections last week, 461 people were not vaccinated (81.4%) whilst 105 people were fully vaccinated (18.6%).
The number of PCR tests carried out decreased from 49,884 the week before to 43,736 last week.
Eleven people reported a positive rapid antigen test for the reference week (up from nine the previous week), bringing the total number of positive results from such tests performed by healthcare professionals to 258. Since the introduction of self-tests, 786 positive results have been reported, with no cases for the week of 19 to 25 July. Note that positive rapid antigen tests are not taken into account in calculating the positivity rate.
As of Sunday 25 July 2021, the number of active infections stood at 1,236 (down from 1,497 as of 18 July) and the number of people having recovered from the virus increased from 70,667 to 71,493. The average age of people diagnosed with COVID-19 increased from 27.5 to 30.3 years over one week.
One new COVID-19-related death was reported last week.
In hospitals, the number of confirmed COVID-19 patients in normal care increased from eight to seventeen over one week. The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care remained stable at four. The average age of hospitalised patients increased slightly, from 48 to 51 years.
Positivity & incidence rates
For the reference period, the effective reproduction rate (RT eff) decreased from 0.91 to 0.82. The positivity rate on all tests carried out also fell, from 1.46% to 1.29%, whilst the positivity rate on tests performed through a doctor's prescription (i.e. people with symptoms) remained stable at 4.19%.
The incidence rate fell for the third consecutive week, from 115 to 89 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over seven days. The incidence rate decreased across all age groups except among 30-44 and 75+ year-olds. The largest decrease was recorded in the 15-29 age group (down 37%), whilst the 75+ age group recorded an increase of 71% (i.e. five more cases than the previous week). The 15-29 age group had the highest incidence rate with 206 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by 30-44 year-olds with 104 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Note that 71% of all new cases last week were detected among 15-29 and 30-44 year-olds.
Quarantine & isolation
During the week of 19 to 25 July, 1,588 people were in isolation (down 18%) and 1,124 were in quarantine (down 38%).
The family circle remained the most frequent context of transmission of COVID-19 infections (27.3%), followed by travel abroad (13.6%) and leisure activities (13.2%). The source of infection was not clearly attributable in 36.6% of cases (up from 35.3% the week before).
For the week of 19 to 25 July, a total of 30,676 vaccine doses were administered in Luxembourg. 4,835 people received their first dose whilst 25,826 people received their second dose, bringing the total number of vaccinations administered as of 27 July to 694,898. A total of 336,173 people have been fully vaccinated to date. These figures include Luxembourg residents only.
Between 12 July, when Luxembourg extended its vaccination offer to cross-border workers, and 27 July, 1,515 cross-border workers have received their first dose in Luxembourg.
The level of contamination of the thirteen sampled wastewater treatment plants studied by LIST during the week of 19 to 25 July confirmed the stabilisation of SARS-CoV-2 flux values at a high level (albeit lower than that observed during the first half of July). A comparable trend was observed at the level of individual wastewater treatment plants. LIST also noted that the estimated flows decreased at times, reaching detection limits during the month of July; this was the case in Schifflange, Grevenmacher, Troisvierges and Wiltz. This confirms a significant decrease in flows at these wastewater treatment plants.