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Covid: Bengaluru Wastewater Data Reveals This Year’s Wave ‘Larger’ Than That Of January 2022

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The wastewater data from Bengaluru has revealed that the wave of Covid-19 infections this year was “larger” than that in January 2022 which is considered to be the most fatal in the country since the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020. 28 sewage treatment plants covering the entire area of the city showed that there was a “systematic increase” in viral load in last few months which has now decreased. The country in the past few months witnessed a brief spurt in the cases of Covid-19 which has now started to decrease. 

“Wastewater brings samples from all households as body fluids & excreted products end up in sewage plants. It looks like from Bangalore wastewater data that this year’s Covid19 wave was bigger than the largest Covid19 wave of January 2022,” Rakesh Mishra, Director, Tata Institute for Genetics and Society told news agency ANI. 

“We got samples from 28 Sewage Treatment Plants (STP) covering the entire area in Bengaluru & we analysed them separately to monitor viral load. At STP level we can predict the viral load,” he added.

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On the basis of the wastewater data, Mishra said that the “invisible wave” has subsided, and added that the symptoms were more like common cold this time. 

“We observed in past few months that there was a systematic increase in viral load and a month and a half back it started decreasing. That means we have already seen a wave. This year it’s more like common cold, people didn’t go to hospital as there are no serious symptoms, thus we call it invisible wave,” he said. 

While he said that it will not be a major health issue and advised to keep a watch on the Covid-19 virus through genome sequencing to monitor viral load and any new variant. 

“Corona is already in the endemic stage. The level of infection we saw recently from Bengaluru data was more significant than third wave and would have had a big problem. However, it did not happen because of vaccination, or hybrid immunity and as the virus is more infectious, but clinically less harmful as it affects the body like the common cold,” he added.

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