Large scale testing, Luxembourg. / © RTL (archive)
Professor Dr. Friedrich Mühlschlegel, the director of the National Health Laboratory (LNS), said relaxing coronavirus measures was "not unwise".
Head of LNS and microbiologist Prof. Dr. Mühlschlegel told RTL Radio on Friday that there was no doubt that infection cases had fallen in the Grand Duchy.
The LNS mission is to deliver reliable test results and data to the government in order to guide health policy. Prof. Dr. Mühlschlegel said the relaxation of the Covid measures was not unwise, as was suggested by opposition CSV MPs Claude Wiseler and Martine Hansen earlier this week.
He said the risk at the moment was the highly infectious UK variant of the virus and the danger of it spreading as has been the case in Britain. This must be avoided at all costs, he added, with the LNS seeking to keep an eye on the constant virus mutation.
Three cases of the Covid variant first identified in Britain have been discovered in Luxembourg to date, while no cases of the variant uncovered in South Africa have been detected yet.
The variant discovered in Britain is said to be 70% more contagious than the original strain, while the South African variant is also thought to be more contagious.
Prof. Dr. Mühlschlegel said PCR tests are the gold standard for detecting infections; however, he said rapid tests could be used more frequently as part of a pragmatic solution to test as many people as possible in a short space of time. He said large-scale testing was certainly the right solution for keeping the virus under control.
Around 12,000 tests have been performed at the drive-in test centre since November, with a positivity rate of 10%.
In addition, 1,000 children have been tested across the country as part of a surge to test children aged 6 and under. 76 children have tested positive to date, said the professor. It is thought children play a major role in spreading coronavirus, as they are often asymptomatic.