Overall concentration has declined over the past week. âThe concentration of coronavirus has become very high in the area of ââthe Viimsi-Muuga wastewater treatment plant, as well as in Ahtme. The amounts of virus in the samples from the JÃµhvi and Rapla sewage treatment plants are slightly lower, but still considerable. the average situation in Estonia has remained stable at a fairly low level over the past four weeks, âsaid study principal investigator Tanel Tenson, professor of antimicrobial compound technology at the University of Tartu.
How and where are the tests collected?
Samples of wastewater are collected at the beginning of each week in all Estonian capitals and cities with more than 10,000 inhabitants. During the period of the wider spread of the virus, samples were also collected from smaller settlements as needed. As the spread of the virus has been moderate in Estonia in recent weeks, this time no samples have been taken from smaller locations.
Samples taken in large cities reflect the situation of wastewater passing through the sewage treatment plant over 24 hours, giving a reliable overview of the level of infection in the city.
The study is a tool helping the Board of Health monitor changes in epidemic dynamics and uncover hidden epidemics. It gives early information to estimate the spread of the virus before clinical cases are detected. The Board of Health is regularly informed of the results.
In collecting the samples, the University of Tartu cooperates with the Estonian Environmental Research Center and the water companies operating sewage treatment plants in Estonian cities. The samples are analyzed in the laboratories of the Institute of Technology of the University of Tartu.
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