In a first, Sewage samples test positive for Covid-19

Chandigarh: Amid the rising cases of Covid-19 across the country, sewage samples have tested positive for Covid-19 in Chandigarh city.

According to a report by Tribune, the samples were tested by the Department of Virology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, as a authority of the WHO-ICMR Centre for the environment surveillance for Covid-19.

PGI had begun testing samples from wastewater treatment plants from Chandigarh and Amritsar in December. The samples were collected from Diggian sewage treatment plant and BRD plant in the city, added reports.

The samples of the sewage get tested once per week from each site to monitor the trend.

Earlier also similar techniques have been used for the surveillance of polio virus.

The sample is then tested on the RT-PCR machine to detect the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus via fragments of genetic material (RNA) in wastewater.

Usually, one litre of sewage sample is concentrated for two to three days to 2-3 ml so as to improve the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Following this, nucleic acid is extracted and purified so as to isolate SARS-CoV-2 RNA from the sewage mixture.

According World Health Organization, finding this RNA in wastewater means that one or more person in the community had likely excreted virus through faeces.

It is to be noted that, seven to eight sewage sites in Delhi will soon start sending sewage samples to the PGI, Chandigarh for the detection of Covid.

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