Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and Minister of Health Paulette Lenert visited Kirchberg hospital earlier this Thursday. They met with medical staff who spend each day on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic.

Medical staff and the administrative board of the hospital took the politicians and the press on a guided tour of the hospital. Before entering the main building each person has their temperature taken - including the Prime Minister.


Everyone entering the hospital gets their temperature taken - including Bettel and Lenert.

Hospital officials explained that Covid-19 patients are strictly separated from regular patients. Medical staff treating coronavirus patients have to respect tight health safety rules. According to the doctors, it can be exhausting to work long hours in a protective Tyvek suit- and yet doctors and nurses at Kirchberg hospital are grateful to have access to high-quality protective equipment. "In some French hospitals that we are in contact with, between 50 and 60% of medical staff got infected. We're glad we don't have that here," one doctor explained. "We are happy you took the measures so quickly," the doctors told Bettel and Lenert. "A delay could have broken our neck."

Administrative director Michel Schuetz told Paulette Lenert and the press that the key to dealing with the pandemic was to keep medical supplies and equipment well-stocked. When the pandemic broke out, demand for medical supplies reportedly shot up by 4000%, which meant it was extremely difficult to find suppliers of high-quality equipment. The hospital has started to produce its own hand disinfectant and some types of masks are being recycled, Schuelz explained. The hospital administration is forced to plan and place orders in advance to prevent shortages as delays as possible. Schuelz for example explained that the hospital was currently sufficiently stocked to cover the next 30 days.

When asked by RTL, several doctors such as Dr Alain Bodart explained that medical staff are concerned about a potential second wave of infections. Dr Jean-Mark Cloos, medical director of the psychiatric ward, formulated his concerns even more explicitly. He explained that "many people seem to think that the pandemic is already over" and, in his view, it is a questionable decision to reopen schools. "I for example don't see how they will properly clean the schools as disinfectant is scare," he explained.

When asked by RTL, Minister of Health Paulette Lenert explained that the government would keep a close eye on the situation and on future developments in terms of new infections. It is possible that the government will backpaddle in terms of lifting measures if a second wave were to hit Luxembourg. Lenert also explained that Luxembourg currently does not take in more French patients. This could change if the situation continues to give reason to be optimistic. When asked about face masks, the minister explained that is possible that more masks will be send to the public once there is a sufficient stock-pile for the sectors that need them most urgently.

Around 30 members of staff at the hospital tested positive for the virus since the outbreak. Hospital officials were adamant that none of them contracted the virus at work.

Mental health crisis?

Dr Jean-Mark Cloos explained that the confinement measures are starting to take their toll on the mental health of the nation. "Increasing numbers of people are drinking excessively, people are afraid and have existential fears," the doctor said.


Dr Jean-Marc Cloos, medical director of the Psychiatry centre.

He added that three psychotic patients were admitted to his ward in a single night. Some psychiatric patients are not taking their medication or seeing their psychiatrist due to the lockdown, Dr Cloos said. The consequences can be severe, ranging from depression to delirium to attempted suicide. Doctors are doing everything in their power to keep in touch with their patients via video conferences.