[imagesource: Twitter / KfW @KfW_int]
Cape Town is well and truly in the midst of the COVID-19 third wave.
Across the country, there have been 22 910 new cases identified in the past 24 hours (as of last night), at a positivity rate of 30,4%.
2 557 of those new cases were in the Western Cape, and it’s clear that the Delta variant has gained a foothold in the province.
SA Medical Research Council (SAMRC) scientists said earlier in the week that the highly infectious variant has been detected in wastewater at 25 treatment plants across the province.
“[The team] detected it as the dominant variant in towns in the Breede Valley (Worcester, Rawsonville, Touws River and De Doorns), Theewaterskloof (Bot River and Villiersdorp) as well as in 19 wastewater treatment plants in the Cape Town metropole,” said Dr Rabia Johnson, deputy director of the SAMRC biomedical research and innovation platform…
She said data from wastewater testing provides an overview of infections within communities and is a valuable source of information for Covid-19 decision-making.
The team has seen sharp increases in SARS-CoV-2 viral loads in most wastewater treatment plants.
SAMRC president Prof Glenda Gray added that the tracking of variants found in wastewater can serve as an early warning system for public health authorities.
Before you panic, these viral loads are non-infectious. The City’s mayoral committee member for community and health services, Zahid Badroodien, spoke with News24:
“It is important to note that the viral remnants found in wastewater are non-infectious.
SARS-Cov-2 viral remnants have been found in all wastewater treatment works since we have started monitoring. Recently the MRC have detected the Delta variant in all treatment plants apart from Zandvliet.”
The Western Cape government’s Environmental Affairs and Development Planning Department also issued a statement:
“The surveillance of wastewater acts as an effective additional early warning system to pick up any increases in virus load in a specific area. This assists authorities to put management actions in place to address any increase in a number of positive cases within such an area.”
No need to give up showering or panic buy bottled water.
However, SAMRC officials do recommend that all South Africans adopt the highest level of precaution possible to disrupt the transmission of COVID-19.
[imagesource: Supplied to IOL] Yesterday morning, Shahnawaz Asghar was snatched from hi...
Every time I see a teenager with braces, I think back to how ruthless kids can be. We d...
[imagesource:here] The ShanghaiRanking Consultancy has just published its 2022 Academic...
[imagesource: J.J. Giraldo] These days, it's the great white shark that rules the water...
[imagesource: Frank Slack/Getty Images] Largely directed towards those living in the No...