(The Gist of Science Reporter) Emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater

(GIST OF SCIENCE REPORTER) Emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater


Emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater


Figure 1: Possible strategy to minimize community spreading of COVID-19 through faecal-oral transmission


  • Investigation of the occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater showed positive results in various studies.
  • The presence of SARS-CoV-2 fragments in wastewater is a great matter of concern for India also. 
  • As only 37.18% of the total wastewater generated gets treated while remaining is released in various surface water bodies. 
  • Prior research reveals that the human coronavirus can remain infectious for several days in sewage. 
  • Viral contaminated water is a potential source of aerosolization of the virus and direct human exposure. 

Challenges for India:

  • Developing countries like India require to adapt environmental surveillance like WasteWater-based Epidemiology tools to tackle such conditions. 
  • The viral load in wastewater would increase with an increasing number of cases in India. 
  • India's inability to treat the whole wastewater generated through common wastewater treatment facility centres is a major cause of concern to decide the further extent of the disease. 
  • Drainage, sewer systems, etc. exposed directly in the immediate atmosphere at various regions increase the chances of the spread of the disease through improper defecation systems. 
  • All the common Wastewater Treatment Facilities (WWTP) need regular monitoring; also the current procedure needs to be revisited for complete removal of SARS-CoV-2 fragments.

Way forward:

  • To limit the spread of the disease is Environmental Surveillance through Wastewater Based Epidemiology (WBE) at the State level. 
  • It could perform the function of a preliminary indicator to predict the next surge of COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Decision-makers and policy framers require to revise policy guidelines to ensure that wastewater is treated as per the demand of the COVID-19 situation. 
  • Safety measures for the home quarantined, quarantine centre individuals, etc. need to be devised. Sanitation workers and wastewater treatment facility staff should be provided with proper personal protection equipment (PPE). 
  • Integration of fecal/stool testing for SARS-CoV-2 RNA is crucial for informing the precautions necessary to prevent transmission in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection.



Study Material for UPSC General Studies Pre Cum Mains

Get The Gist 1 Year Subscription Online

Click Here to Download More Free Sample Material

<<Go Back To Main Page

Courtesy: Science Reporter