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COVID-19. Belgium wants to test sewage from planes arriving from China. In search of the coronavirus

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Belgium plans to test sewage from planes arriving from China. In this way, they want to gather more information on the possible spread of new variants of COVID-19, Belgian television VRT reported. As the station explains, the feces of infected people contain traces of coronavirus two to five days before the onset of symptoms.

Belgium wants to use a new technique to prevent the possible proliferation of variants. This was announced by Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke. Direct connection to China to Brussels airport twice a week.

“Many studies confirm that coronavirus can be detected in the feces. While fecal testing is much less practical than classic PCR tests, it is said to be much more reliable. The feces of infected people contain traces of the coronavirus about two to five days before the onset of symptoms. This is according to a study by the Australian science agency CSIRO, which tested toilet wastewater samples on 37 Australian government repatriation flights from COVID-19 hotspots, including IndiaFrance, Great Britain, South AfricaCanada and Germany,” informs VRT.

The study found that wastewater from 24 of the 37 flights contained traces of the coronavirus, even though all passengers tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 48 hours before departure.

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Virologist: A new variant can appear anywhere

– The chance that a dangerous variant will appear in China seems small to me. The virus does not have to mutate. (…) The omicron variant is already very contagious, said virologist Steven Van Gucht.

– Why should we treat a flight from China differently than from Africa or America? Van Gucht wondered. “The virus is circulating intensively there now, but a new variant could emerge anywhere: it could also be in Africa and even in West Flanders,” he added.

China lifts restrictions

From January 8, the Chinese government will lift almost all travel restrictions. As a result, the Chinese population can travel abroad again after a long time, and foreigners can re-enter the country without the obligation to quarantine. The entry and exit restrictions were one of the latest measures against the spread of the coronavirus imposed by the Chinese government.

Beijing’s decision worries many countries. Many governments and experts are concerned that new variants may emerge that vaccines do not protect against. That’s why many countries are now proposing to test travelers from China.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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