The European Union has called on member states to set up wastewater monitoring to detect Covid outbreaks early.
The European Commission on Sunday called on EU member states to regularly monitor sewage systems for fresh outbreaks of the coronavirus.
“It is crucial that EU countries set up effective wastewater monitoring systems as soon as possible and ensure the relevant data are immediately made available to health authorities,” Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.
She said they were an “inexpensive, fast and reliable source of information about the spread of the virus and its variants in the population.” Large cities and municipalities should analyze at least two samples weekly in what Sinkevicius said was “a proven concept in public health insurance.”
Some European countries have already begun monitoring sewage systems and were able to forewarn about worsening outbreaks. Wastewater systems are also used to gain knowledge about the extent of the use of illegal drugs in the population.
Photo: Sewer workers of the Direction de l’Amenagement Urbain (DAU, Department of Urban Amenities) of Monaco take sewage water samples to detect the concentration of Covid-19 in Monaco. EPA-EFE/SEBASTIEN NOGIER
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