Rtl today – health directorate: contact tracing has been temporarily overloaded, admits Dr Joël Mossong

The epidemiologist from the Health Directorate was the guest of RTL Radio on Friday morning.

Dr Mossong expressed his belief that the Omicron variant became dominant in Luxembourg over Christmas. The most recent data sets certainly point in this direction, the epidemiologist noted. To date, the National Laboratory (LNS) has gained the ability to identify coronavirus variants much faster than the old two-week period.

Dr Mossong stressed the importance of controlling the spread of Omicron. 90% of infections occur in people vaccinated twice, once or not at all, underscoring the importance of the booster campaign.

The epidemiologist has also argued for rapid tests, which still work for the Omicron variant. He explained that people should do them right before meeting others and remember to use masks.

When asked about schools, Dr Mossong explained that Omicron seems to affect young children the least, which is why he doesn’t expect any drastic changes after the Christmas holidays end. High schools, however, could see an increase in infections, as teens are more prone to contracting the variant.

Dr Mossong also admitted that contact tracing mechanisms are currently reaching capacity limits, which is why a new recommendation is expected to be released today, allowing people to self-report positive test results via the internet: “I highly recommend people use this to help take the pressure off the contact tracing team.”

Interview in Luxembourgish