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Project being launched to test for SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater

The University of Cyprus’ Nireas International Water Research Centre has signed an agreement with the Water Development Department (WDD) for the establishment of a national system for the monitoring of urban sewage for SARS-CoV-2 and its variants.

The one-year project for the systematic monitoring of untreated urban wastewater samples will begin on October 2. It is within the framework of the Commission recommendation 2021/472 on a common approach to establish a systematic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants in wastewaters in the EU.

The project includes the detection and quantification of SARS-CoV-2 virus genetic material in samples of untreated urban wastewater from seven treatment plants on a weekly basis. This concerns the treatment plants in Vathia Gonia and Anthoupoli of the Sewerage Board of Nicosia, and those of the sewerage boards of Limassol-Amathus, Ayia Napa, Paralimni, Larnaca and Paphos.

The agreement also concerns statistical analysis of SARS-CoV-2 virus concentrations in urban wastewater and their correlation with the epidemiological data of the area served by the respective urban wastewater treatment unit.

An electronic platform will be developed for the monitoring of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in urban wastewater, where the results will be posted. This data will be available to the public and the competent authorities through the platform, while at the same time they will feed the European data exchange platform, when it is put into operation.

The project also concerns identification of SARS-CoV-2 variants.

It is co-financed by the European Commission with €100,000, and from state funds (€150,000).

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