Sewage water may indicate COVID-19 status of communities
The Biosafety Level-3 Laboratory for Emerging Pathogens of the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) Lahore has detected SARS-CoV-2 genome from urine and fecal samples of COVID 19 patients and sewage water in a bid to develop a smart COVID-19 surveillance strategy at community level which may aid in better execution of smart lockdowns.
This pilot study was conducted with the cooperation of Healthcare Department Punjab and in collaboration with Institute of Public Health, Lahore to further strengthen the efforts of government in fight against COVID-19. The smart surveillance of sewage water for genome of etiological agent of COVID-19 may reveal actual COVID-19 burden of a locality where under-reporting and address fraud is expected. It will also aid in better execution of smart lockdowns. SARS-CoV-2 genome in sewage water only indicates COVID-19 burden in a particular area. It, however, does not reveal if the virus is in infectious or non-infectious form.
Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr. Nasim Ahmad termed this study another great contribution by the UVAS BSL-3 Lab. He appreciated Prof Dr Tahir Yaqub and his team for initiating this research activity. He reiterated that UVAS is committed to contributing to the best of its capabilities to the efforts of the government in the fight against coronavirus.