The SA Medical Research Council’s (SAMRC) wastewater surveillance team has seen a decline in concentrations of SARS-CoV-2 RNA fragments in the majority of wastewater treatment plants.
The team undertakes weekly sampling and analysis from 72 wastewater treatment plants in urban and rural areas across four provinces (Gauteng, Limpopo, the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape) to support the management of Covid-19 in SA.
The concentrations of non-infectious SARS-CoV-2 RNA fragments are levelling off or declining in both urban and rural areas.
“We are seeing this pattern of levelling or declining concentrations of SARS-CoV-2 RNA fragments in 89% of the wastewater treatment plants we are monitoring in urban areas (Buffalo City, Cape Town and Nelson Mandela Bay) and 97% of wastewater treatment plants in rural areas in Limpopo, Eastern Cape and Western Cape,” said Prof Angela Mathee, a member of the team.
“The declining concentrations corroborate what we’re seeing with Covid-19 cases around the country,” said another team member, Dr Renée Street.