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Back Wastewater monitoring for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus in the Slovak Republic – progress on 27th calendar week 2023 - RT-PCR and ddPCR analysis

Monitoring of wastewater in the Slovak Republic for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus was launched on 02.05. 2021 (i.e. 18th calendar week) and it is performed regularly on a weekly basis in each region of the Slovak Republic. From January 2022, we gradually started the second phase of the wastewater monitoring project, where monitoring is being expanded in several districts. So far, 62 WWTPs have participated in the Slovak Republic.

Due to the improved epidemiological situation, starting from 19.6.2023, the collection and investigation of waste water samples was reduced.

The presence of virus in wastewater samples is determined by RT-PCR and digital dd-PCR. Samples are taken in cooperation with individual operators of wastewater treatment plants, regional public health authorities and investigated in the NRC at the Public Health Authority of Slovak Republic.

By the 27th calendar week 2023, a total of 4450 samples were examined by a qualitative and quantitative method, of which 4345 (97,64 %) samples were positive or with limit values.

On 27th calendar week 2023, 18 samples were examined. The presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was detected in 13 samples, 5 samples were negative. In 6 samples (33,33 %) showed an increase in the number of SARS-CoV-2 RNA copies, in the other 12 samples the number of copies remained unchanged or decreased. 

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On the 27th calendar week, we noticed a slight reduce in quantitative tests, which express the copy number of SARS-CoV-2 RNA. 

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Monitoring of the viral load in wastewater in individual regions points to a slight increase in Trnava, Banská Bystrica and Košice region.  

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* Source: Operačné stredisko ZZS, ÚVZ SR

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