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Cyprus launches wastewater coronavirus-monitoring project

Cyprus launches wastewater coronavirus-monitoring project

It is co-financed by the European Commission and follows its recommendation for a common approach to surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants in urban sewage across the EU

The University of Cyprus’ Nireas International Water Research Centre and the Water Development Department (WDD) have agreed to set up a national system for the monitoring of urban sewage for SARS-CoV-2 and its variants, the Cyprus Mail reports.

Common approach to surveillance of SARS-CoV-2

The system’s feasibility will be tested during a one-year project starting on 2 October for systematic monitoring of untreated urban wastewater samples. The project is within the framework of the Commission’s recommendation 2021/472 to member states to adopt 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, on a weekly basis, of SARS-CoV-2 virus genetic material in samples of untreated urban wastewater taken from seven treatment plants. The plants involved are those in Vathia Gonia and Anthoupoli (operated by the Sewerage Board of Nicosia), and the facilities of the sewerage boards of Limassol-Amathus, Ayia Napa, Paralimni, Larnaca and Paphos.

Another task of the project is statistical analysis of SARS-CoV-2 virus concentrations in urban wastewater and their correlation with the epidemiological data of the area serviced by the respective treatment plant. The project also includes identification of SARS-CoV-2 variants.

Electronic platform

An electronic platform will be developed, where the results of the monitoring will be posted. The public and the competent authorities will have access to this data, and simultaneously it will feed the European data exchange platform, when it becomes operable.

The project is co-funded by the European Commission with EUR 100,000, and the state (EUR 150,000). The University of Cyprus ranks 477th among the top 1000 universities in the world, according to QS World University Rankings 2021.

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