Siân Gwenllian, Plaid Cymru Member of Senedd for Arfon has welcomed the Welsh Government announcement that money will be earmarked to a consortium led by Bangor University to monitor coronavirus levels in wastewater treatment works.
As well as offering an idea of the community infection rate, constant monitoring of the works can give an early warning of the presence of coronavirus.
They will develop a monitoring programme to measure the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in wastewater. The presence of SARS-CoV-2 in human waste is common to almost all cases of Coronavirus.
The announcement follows Siân Gwenllian's call for the Government to support the research programme in a Senedd meeting a few weeks ago.
Siân Gwenllian MS welcomed the announcement, saying ‘I'm very pleased that the Welsh Government has listened to my call to offer support to this progressive project. I'm also pleased to see Bangor University leading the way in scientific research once again. We are very proud that a local institution is central to the battle against the virus.'
In a statement from Bangor University Iwan Davies, Vice-Chancellor of the university, said he was ‘very proud that pioneering environmental monitoring work, combining different areas of expertise in our College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, will contribute to the nation's vital work of protecting communities against Covid-19 and further outbreaks of coronavirus and other infectious viruses.’
Health Minister Vaughan Gething confirmed that the pilot scheme will receive £500,000 and initially last for 6 months, with the hope of expanding sampling to 20 works representing around 75% of the population of Wales.
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