Great Britain

Coronavirus panic: Scientists scramble to avoid SECOND WAVE with early-warning system

They detected genetic material from the coronavirus at a wastewater treatment plant in Amersfoort, south-east of Amsterdam, on March 5 before any cases of the deadly disease had been confirmed in the city. The Netherlands confirmed its first COVID-19 case on February 27 and discovered health workers had fallen ill with the infection across the country just days later – a sign the disease was rapidly spreading across communities. According to the latest figures published yesterday, the country has suffered 1,039 coronavirus-related deaths with a total of 12,595 infections.

Gertjan Medema, of the KWR Water Research Institute, claimed traces of the virus is often found in human waste of those infected by the disease making it an ideal detection mechanism.

It is understood that there is little risk of COVID-19 being transmitted amongst people through sewage, he added.

“It is important to collect information about the occurrence and fate of this new virus in sewage to understand if there is no risk to sewage workers, but also to determine if sewage surveillance could be used to monitor the circulation of SARS-CoV-2 in our communities,” he said.

“That could complement current clinical surveillance, which is limited to the COVID-19 patients with the most severe symptoms.”

Coronavirus test sewage water Netherlands

Dutch scientists discover COVID-19 in sewage system, prompting hope for a new early warning system (Image: GETTY)

Mark Rutte

Mark Rutte has introduced measures to stop the curb of coronavirus across the Netherlands (Image: GETTY)

Their discovery is the first known detection of coronavirus in sewage, and could use well-established methods used to detect antibiotic-resistant bacteria, to create an early warning system for towns and cities.

“The detection of the virus in sewage, even when the COVID-19 prevalence is low, indicates that sewage surveillance could be a sensitive tool to monitor the circulation of the virus in the population,” said a group of Professor Medema’s colleagues.

The four Dutch scientists, headed by Professor Medema, have released a paper on the presence of coronavirus in the sewage network.

They carried out no fewer than 24 tests across eight Dutch cities as part of their research.

The Netherlands

Restaurants, bars and schools have been closed across the Netherlands (Image: GETTY)

The study found that as the number of COVID-19 cases across the country grew so did the detection of the disease in the country’s sewage system.

“The emergence of the epidemic in the Netherlands provides compelling evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is detected in sewage,” they said.

It is proposed that further tests are carried out across the country’s sewage system to create an “early warning tool” ahead of the expected second wave of the virus.

They said: “Sewage surveillance could be used to monitor the circulation of the virus in the population and as early warning tool for increased circulation in the coming winter or unaffected populations.”

MUST READ: Coronavirus: EU doesn't name Orban after Hungary leader ends democracy

what is coronavirus

What is coronavirus? (Image: EXPRESS)

The Dutch government’s coronavirus measures have halved the rate of infection, the country’s public health director today said.

Jaap van Dissel, head of the Dutch Public Health Institute, said: The measures seem to work – It is now crucially important to continue them.”

Prime Minister Mark Rutte has closed schools, childcare centres, bars, restaurants, sports clubs and brothels across the country.

Boris Johnson told NOT to seek Brexit delay amid coronavirus outbreak [POLL]
Coronavirus: Brussels proposes £88.5bn EU-wide unemployment scheme [INSIGHT]
Coronavirus food shortages threaten 'millions', warns UN [INSIGHT]

But he still allows people to move around and meet with others as long as they keep 1.5 metres apart.

Mr Van Dissel said the average number of people infected by someone carrying coronavirus has dropped in the Netherlands since mid-March.

“At that rate the infection will slowly diminish,” he added.

“But it does not mean we can relax our measures, because then the rate of infections would go up again.”

Football news:

Messi posted a photo from the camp Nou: How much I missed this place
Barcelona refused to sell Fati for 100 million euros
Pickford on the Liverpool Derby: Everton have a chance to win. We want to do it for ourselves and the fans
Havertz will not play against Bayern because of muscle problems
Russian Russian midfielder Denis Cheryshev
Igalo on racism: I'll leave the field if I run into something like this. No country should put up with this
Suarez has fully recovered and is ready to play with Mallorca