Scientists track CTN’s COVID-19 prevalence via wastewater treatment plants

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In collaboration with the City of Cape Town and the Medical Research Council health officials are now monitoring the extent of SARS-CoV-2 within wastewater.

A lab technician sorts blood samples inside a lab for a COVID-19 vaccine study at the Research Centers of America in Hollywood, Florida, on 13 August 2020. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN – Experts on Friday said they were tracking Cape Town’s COVID-19 prevalence via wastewater treatment plants.

They are currently gathering data by collecting samples for various areas across the city.

Infections are rising in some areas and the provincial government has once again called on residents to play their part in curbing the spread.

In collaboration with the City of Cape Town and the Medical Research Council health officials are now monitoring the extent of SARS-CoV-2 within wastewater.

Provincial Head of Health, Dr Keith Cloete, said all of the metro’s ten sewage plants, measured an increase in the presence of coronavirus last week.

“”There was a disproportionate increase in two areas – in two water treatment plants. One was Scottsdene, outside of Kraafontein and the other one is Athlone, which is the water treatment plant for not only Athlone but the whole area, and also for some of the Southern Suburbs.”

Cloete says they will match data with COVID-19 testing results to further sharpen the province’s response to the pandemic.

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