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Testing sewage to detect presence of Covid-19

Date: 25 May 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous


The government of UK is ramping up its testing of wastewater to detect coronavirus as well as its emerging variants.



There is increasing evidence of coronavirus in sewage water. This is because the virus is discharged continuously from body fluids.



  • Researchers had devised a new way of identifying community transmission of infection by testing presence of virus RNA in raw sewage.

  • This is method is more successful in identifying extent of the spread if there is no wide scale testing and also symptoms.

  • The data can be used by policy makers to identify infection hotspots and designate containments zones.

  • This method will be appropriate for putting restrictions of people movement and increasing testing aggressively.


 Working of the method

  • Researchers randomly collect wastewater samples from different areas of the city and send them from analysis.

  • The sample is then analysed to check the amount of virus present. Based on the amount, researchers can predict extent of infection.

  • The same method can be employed to detect variety of virus in the area. It is more suitable rather than visiting individual houses.

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