Further to the appearance of a first case of a person infected by the COVID-19 virus, the Prime Minister, in concertation with the Minister of Health and the High Commissioner for National Protection, convened the ‘Pandemic’ Crisis Cell.
The Crisis Cell met, chaired by Minister of Health Paulette Lenert, bringing together all the ministries and administrations concerned.
The patient in question had returned from northern Italy by plane, arriving at Charleroi. After developing symptoms of the COVID-19 coronavirus, the person followed the recommendations issued by the Health Directorate (Direction de la Santé) and contacted the health authorities for diagnostic testing. The result of the test has meanwhile been confirmed by a laboratory in Rotterdam. The patient is in isolation, in hospital. He has no more symptoms, and is well.
Even though there is little risk for the general population at this stage, the Crisis Cell notes that there is still a possibility of other cases appearing in the Grand Duchy. Measures have been implemented to limit and attenuate the spread of the virus among the general population. Everyone the infected patient had contact with since his return to the Grand Duchy has been identified. People who have been in direct contact with the person have been quarantined. At this stage, none of these people have any symptoms and the initial tests have been negative.
In this respect anyone who has travelled from a risk area (mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Iran, northern Italy (Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna and Piedmont) and is suffering from certain symptoms (high temperature, cough, difficulty breathing) is reminded that they should phone the Health Inspectorate (Inspection sanitaire) (247-85650), or 112 outside office hours.
The Crisis Cell is currently not recommending that events should be cancelled, except for those likely to attract a large number of people from risk areas. If in doubt, organisers should contact the Health Directorate, which will assess the situation according to the recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute.
For updated general information, members of the public are invited to consult the FAQ page on the gouvernement.lu website.
A hotline for use by the general public will be operational from 2 March 2020, starting at 2 p.m. - the number is 8002 8080. From then on, this number may be called by anyone who has travelled from a risk area (see above) or who has been in close contact with an infected person and has symptoms of COVID-19 infection (high temperature, cough, difficulty breathing). The 112 emergency number is only for emergencies.
In general, members of the public are referred to the website at www.gouvernement.lu for more detailed information about the coronavirus, the appropriate behaviour to adopt, and how to limit the spread of the virus. The information is available in five languages (LU, FR, DE, EN, PT).
The Crisis Cell will continue to keep a close eye on the evolution of the situation, and will meet again if necessary.
Communicated by the Ministry of Health / the High Commission for National Protection / the Crisis Communication Service
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