According to data from a sewage survey, there were up to 5,000 people with covid in Prague in September
Updates: 10/05/2021 18:29
Released: 05.10.2021, 18:29
Prague – According to data from long-term wastewater monitoring, three to five thousand people infected with covid moved in Prague in the second half of September. Representatives of the University of Chemical Technology in Prague (ICT) stated this in a press release. They stated that as of September 27, the Ministry of Health in Prague had identified 1173 infected people. According to experts from the Institute of Chemical Technology, it is necessary to increase the intensity of testing.
“Estimates are, of course, obligatorily limited by the error, according to which our data in Prague of people infected with covid-19 are at least three to five thousand,” said Jan Bartáček from the Institute of Water Technology and the Environment of the Institute of Chemical Technology. According to him, the number of people infected in the second half of September approached the numbers recorded in mid-April this year, when around 5,000 positive people were registered in Prague – approximately 400 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. According to current official data, there have been 63 positives per 100,000 inhabitants in the last seven days, and the infection has been confirmed in the metropolis in 832 people.
The method of monitoring the development of the covid-19 epidemic is based on the fact that most of the infected massively excrete virus residues in the stool and viral RNA thus enters the wastewater. Bartáček stated that during the epidemic it was confirmed that the amount of viral RNA in the wastewater clearly correlated with the course of the epidemic.
According to scientists, the data from wastewater roughly correspond to the beginnings of infected ones reported by the Ministry of Health until this summer. During September, however, seizures in wastewater rise faster than the number of positive tests. Bartáček said about the discrepancy that the reason may be that there are many people in Prague with a less serious course of the disease who do not get tested. “This can be done, for example, with high vaccination coverage or population penetration,” the scientist said.
Last month, experts repeatedly recorded high seizures in the main tributary to Prague’s Central Wastewater Treatment Plant, but also at many smaller sampled sites – such as student dormitories, some places in the center of Prague or around the bus terminal. On the other hand, viral RNA was not detected to a greater extent in other clean residential localities – for example in Prague housing estates or in residential areas.
When asked to what extent it may be due to the type of localities with high seizures, it may be the influence of people outside Prague, including tourists, Bartáček told ČTK that it cannot be interpreted from this type of data. He noted that in individual smaller localities he would also “be careful” with some strict interpretation. “There’s, of course, the question of where people migrate. And the second thing is that the sites we’re tracking are so small that it just might be that we don’t just notice anything in the sites we’re tracking,” the scientist said. . According to him, only the seizures from student dormitories clearly testify to the influence of people from outside Prague.
According to Bartáček and his colleagues from the Institute of Microbiology and Biochemistry and the Institute of Biotechnology, it is important that the relevant institutions increase the intensity of testing. Pilot monitoring of wastewater by ICT scientists was launched last summer. They cooperate with the companies Pražské vodovody a kanalizace on montoring.
Laboratories in the Czech Republic confirmed 804 new cases of covid-19 on Monday, 135 more than a week ago. There were 28 to 255 hospitalizations with coronavirus, forty of them in a difficult state, similar to last Monday. The reproduction number showing how many people get infected with one positive test, on the other hand, has dropped to 1.31 from the previous 1.36.