BENGALURU: Additional Chief Secretary Rakesh Singh on Thursday said the state will test waste water in 45 wards of the city, to find clues to emerging Covid clusters. This system will cover 75% of the city’s population, by generating around 90 data points per week. He was speaking at the virtual launch of the Precision Pandemic Surveillance Initiative platform #COVIDActionCollab. This platform will provide early warning signs through waste water surveillance to help identify, track and start early initiatives to control the spread.
The platform is launched by Restore Health and Wellness, in collaboration with United States Agency for International Development, Skoll Foundation, WHO and the State Government.Dr Giridhar Babu, member of the State Advisory Committee, said that waste water assessment is effective to check the spread of infection, and added that a similar initiative was taken during the polio eradication drive. BWSSB Chairman N Jayaram said that last year, samples collected from 40 STPs were taken for a test to check for the presence of the virus, and the reports came negative. He added that the same would be done this year too.
Vishwanth S, water activist and urban planner, said, “Waste water study is very important as the water is also used for agriculture. So, the study will not just help in better health planning, but also in economical growth and the food sector.”TNIE had on April 22, 2020, carried an article titled ‘Virus taking sewerage route? Hotspots crop up near STPs’, explaining how a majority of Covid hotspots identified by the BBMP were found near STPs.
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