Scientists at the London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have devised a way of detecting cases of Covid-19 in samples of faeces.
The findings could help provide the Jersey government with early-warning signs of any increase in cases – and any new variants of the virus that have reached our shores.
It will also allow the government to give advice to Islanders about how best to reduce the risk of a ‘third wave’ of infections. The sewage survey will continue at least until November, with the results from the first sample due within the next two weeks.
The government’s Infrastructure, Housing and Environment and Public Health departments have been working together on the project.
Caroline Maffia, strategic lead for contact tracing, monitoring and enforcement, said: ‘This is a great addition to the different strategies we have to identify the prevalence of Covid-19 in Jersey.
‘LSHTM’s system is designed to detect as few cases of Covid-19 as one in 10,000. It will help us compare the number of known cases in the Island with the anticipated number. If we see the beginning of an outbreak, it will give our Strategic and Technical Advisory Cell the best tools available on which to base their recommendations.’