Minister of Health Paulette Lenert and head of the AMMD Dr. Alain Schmit held a press briefing this Monday afternoon to take stock of the recent coronavirus developments.

New numbers

Paulette Lenert began the press briefing by giving the new number of infections. As of this Monday, 1,988 people have tested positive for the virus. This new number represents an increase of 38 infections compared to Sunday. It may be comparatively low partly because fewer tests are carried out on weekends, Lenert explained. Luxembourg has carried out a total of 16,199 tests.

22 people have died of coronavirus in the Grand Duchy as of this Monday afternoon. 11 of them died at the hospital and 10 people passed away in care homes. One person died at home, the minister explained. She expressed her heartfelt condolences to the families.  
It remains unclear how well-equipped care homes are to treat coronavirus patients.

202 people are currently hospitalised - 31 of them in intensive care. And some more positive news: 80 patients have already been released from the hospital.

Healthcare sector faces challenges - freelance medical staff offered CDD contracts

No patient will be left out in the rain, Lenert stressed. Priority will of course be given to urgent Covid-19 cases but hospitals and officials aim to keep Luxembourg's healthcare sector functioning for other patients as efficiently as possible.

The primary tool to fight the virus and reduce risks for medical staff remains the practice of tele-consultations. Patients are able to consult a doctor via phone or video conference. Their doctor will then be able to redirect them. Lenert explained that doctors will carry out more home visits in the near future.

A national coordinator will closely work together with the ministry of health to make sure that enough doctors are available where they are needed most urgently. Flexibility remains key in this context, Lenert and Dr Schmit stressed.

The state is in need of various medical staff - accepted candidates will be given CDD contracts. This measure should allow the state to have enough enough medical staff to weather the crisis while financially supporting freelance medical workers.

Stricter measures for care homes

Staff working at care homes for the elderly are not allowed to go to work if they display any coronavirus-related symptoms. An individual displaying such symptoms is required to get tested and notify his or her employer of the test result. Employees are also no longer allowed to wear their normal clothes inside the care homes.

Lenert also explained that it is currently not an official recommendation that the public wear face masks. Individuals displaying symptoms are nevertheless encouraged to do so in order to prevent further infections.