Why Luxembourg Would Not Take ‘Additional Measures’ Yet

Context: The SARS-CoV-2 positive cases are increasing since mid-Oct 2020 in Luxembourg as well as in neighbouring countries, including several ‘single-day-high’ records. In effect, Belgium, France and Germany had undertaken or decided to undertake additional strict ‘measures’ to contain further spread of the virus. In comparison, Luxembourg undertook night curfews and limiting number of people meeting/ invite to 4 (as of 30.10.2020) and later further limited number of people meeting/invite to 2 and HORECA was closed (as of 26.11.2020). Here let us look at the data to understand these measures.

Observations: First, we look at the COVID-19 related hospitalization rates as a measure of ‘stress on the Luxemourg healthcare sector’. We took two parameters, one, number of hospitalization as a percentage of the number of ‘positive’ cases in last 10 days (as the majority of cases would need medical care if symptoms arise within the first 2 weeks after contracting the virus). Second parameter is the number of hospitalization as a percentage of the number of ‘active cases’. Both parameters seem to follow each-other closely and interestingly remained between 2-4% in Sept-Nov 2020 (shown as colored band).

Next, we look at the ICU patients as a percentage of total hospitalizations, which is critical measure in terms of outcome of the hospitalized patients. A colored band of 10-15% is shown below and an average 12.5% is discussed below.

Assumptions: Assuming that the infection rates, the number of PCR tests and the number of positive cases, all remain similar across all age-groups, and the hospital healthcare professionals and infrastructure are not the limiting factor, it could be further assumed that to reach 50 cases of ICU occupancy by COVID-19 patients, a total of nearly 400 hospitalizations might have to occur (at 12.5% ICU patients of total hospitalizations), and to reach 400 hospitalizations, a total 10-day case load has to be between 10,000 – 20,000 positive cases (at high 4% to low 2% hospitalization rates) or in other words over 1,000 cases per day.

Hypothetical Threshold: Although it is a comeplety hypothetical scenario but if the above assumptions hold true, Luxembourg would not have much choice left but to undertake further strict measures IF the number of new-cases remain above 1,000 per day for couple of days consecutively or the number of ‘active-cases’ remain above 10,000 mark for couple of days consecutively!
As of latest data available on 02.12.2020, there are 8,971 ‘active cases’ in Luxembourg.

This is a OPINION PIECE and should be interpreted with CAUTION!
The text is ‘overtly simplified’ for general audience and DOES NOT CLAIM scientific accuracy but is only intended to present easy to understand information.

OPINION: The ‘hospitalization rates’ or the ‘ICU occupancy rates’ may increase in reality and consequently ‘critical’ situation may arise at lower levels as well. At the time of updating this opinion on 02.12.2020, the ‘number of hospitalization as a percentage of the number of ‘positive’ cases in last 10 days‘ is above 4% but probably decreasing and the ‘ICU patients as a percentage of total hospitalizations‘ has been steady and near to 20% of all hospitalization cases – which is a big concern.

It it likely that with the current strict measures in place would show its effect in next weeks and for the timebeing, it is mostly ‘standing steady and testing the times‘.

first published : 31.10.2020
data (charts) updated: 02.12.2020

data source: data.public.lu

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