The researchers from IIT-Gandhinagar have found traces of Covid in Sabarmati river and two lakes in Ahmedabad city of Gujarat as reported on Friday. The study was conducted between September and December 2020 and water samples were collected from the Sabarmati river, Chandola and Kankaria lakes of the city.
The study, however, did not reveal if the genes of the virus found in the water samples were dead or alive.
The research was funded by the UNICEF and led by Professor Manish Kumar, of Earth Science department, who want further probe to avoid any upcoming danger. They aims was to detect the presence of N, S and ORF lab genes of SARS-CoV-2, also called as coronavirus, through RNA isolation.
The study finds N-gene copies in the waters of the Sabarmati river, Chandola and Kankaria lakes. The ORF lab-gene was not found in Chandola, while S-gene copies were present in all the three water bodies. However, the research methodology did not tell if they were alive or dead. But one can't just presume that they all were dead. They already submitted the report to the UNICEF.
Meanwhile, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) decided to send samples from the water bodies to the Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre (GBRC).
Though the virus transmission through water is not proven yet, further research and probe is needed. If the virus genes reached the surface water through urine or excreta of Covid patients, then the genes would have been dead. However, the genes might have been alive if they came from the mouth of a Covid patient, such as through gargled water.
Governments should also focus on better solid waste management.