Alert! SARS-COV-2 likely to be in Ganga water

In Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, reports of bodies being dumped in river Ganga have been reported amidst the second wave of kovid epidemic. In view of which the Centre is studying to find out whether sars-COV-2 or novel covid is present in the river water. Saroj Barik, Director, Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR), Lucknow, said that studies are being carried out in several phases and samples are already being collected from 13 sites in Kannauj and Patna.

Barik said that in the midst of a viral study, rna of the virus present in the water is about to be removed and an RT-PCR test will be conducted to detect covid infection. He said that IITR is an institute under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). It has been learnt that the biological characteristics of the river are also to be tested under this study. The study was decided by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) after bodies were found in the river amid the peak of the second wave of covid virus in April-May.

Union Water Power Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat had tweeted last week, "In view of reports of bodies being dumped in river Ganga in parts of UP and Bihar, we are monitoring the situation to prevent contamination of river water, using existing technologies and conducting regular studies. D P Mathuria, executive director of the NMCG, said, "The virus does not survive in these conditions (rivers). However, we decided to conduct a evidence-based study."

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