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Luxembourg prime minister in ‘serious but stable’ condition in hospital with Covid-19

By Sharon Braithwaite and Pierre Bairin, CNN

Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel remains in “serious but stable” in hospital after contracting Covid-19, his spokesperson said Tuesday.

Bettel, 48, is breathing on his own and is awake, his press attaché Liz Thielen told CNN. The Prime Minister tested positive just over a week ago on June 27 following a European Union summit and was hospitalized Sunday for additional tests and analysis.

Bettel received his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine on May 6, and had been due to receive his second dose in a couple of days, Thielen said.

Bettel is expected to remain in hospital for several days due to the persistence of Covid-19 symptoms, a government statement said Monday.

“During this weekend, the symptoms observed did not abate, which led the Prime Minister to be hospitalized as a precaution. At that time, insufficient oxygen saturation was diagnosed and the Prime Minister has been under continuous medical observation since then,” the government said in a statement Monday.

“The Prime Minister’s current medical condition is considered serious, but stable. Thus, the medical staff surrounding the Prime Minister decided that hospitalization is currently necessary in order to be able to continue the observation, this for an estimated duration of 2-4 days.”

Bettel will continue to be in charge of government decisions while in hospital, but the country’s finance minister will be responsible for signing official documents in Bettel’s absence, according to the statement.

“In order to best guarantee the continuity of current affairs operations, the Minister of Finance, Pierre Gramegna received signing authority. The Prime Minister will continue to be responsible for the coordination of government work and will carry out his functions remotely.”

Luxembourg, one of Europe’s smallest nations with a population of over 600,000, has recorded a slight increase in infections in recent days, according to data from the government. During the week of June 21 to 27, 107 people tested positive for Covid-19.

The country has reported 71,429 infections and 818 fatalities since the start of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University data. To date, 34.99% of the population has been vaccinated.

Following news of Bettel’s hospitalization, Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, tweeted his well-wishes for a speedy recovery.

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CNN’s Sharon Braithwaite and Stephanie Halasz reported from London and Pierre Bairin from Paris.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Europe/Mideast/Africa

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