Urban wastewater coronavirus surveillance project launched in Cyprus

Cyprus launches coronavirus monitoring project in wastewater

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

The Nireas International Water Research Center at the University of Cyprus and the Water Development Department (WDD) have agreed to establish a national urban wastewater monitoring system for SARS-CoV-2 and its variants, the Cyprus Mail reports.

Common approach to SARS-CoV-2 surveillance

The feasibility of the system will be tested during a one-year project starting October 2 for systematic monitoring of samples of untreated urban wastewater. The project is part of Commission Recommendation 2021/472 to Member States to adopt a common approach to establish systematic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants in wastewater in the EU.

The project involves the detection and quantification, on a weekly basis, of the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in untreated urban wastewater samples taken from seven treatment plants. The plants concerned are those of Vathia Gonia and Anthoupoli (managed by the Sewerage Board of Nicosia), and the sanitation service facilities of Limassol-Amathus, Ayia Napa, Paralimni, Larnaca and Paphos.

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

Electronic platform

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

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

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