Sewage samples confirm end of Tartu coronavirus outbreak

A social distancing sign outside Tartu railway station which translates as
A social distancing sign outside Tartu railway station which translates as "I'll love you from afar". Source: Helen Wright / ERR

Sewage samples show the coronavirus outbreak in the southern Estonian city of Tartu has ended, researchers said on Monday.

When new reports of coronavirus infections were received from Tartu and its surroundings at the beginning of August, researchers found traces of the virus in samples taken from the city's wastewater. But no more coronavirus was detected in the sample taken in the penultimate week of August, the regional Tartu Postimees wrote on Monday.

Tanel Tenson, professor in the technology of antimicrobial compounds at the University of Tartu's Faculty of Science and Technology who led the analysis, said currently Tartu residents do not have to worry much about the spread of the virus, because according to both tests and wastewater indicators, the virus is not spreading in the city.

The next wastewater samples from Tartu will reach scientists in the second half of this week. Tenson said he hopes to find out their results by Friday.

At the start of August, several coronavirus infections were reported by people who had visited nightclubs in Tartu which lead to a countywide nighttime alcohol selling ban.

The rise and subsequent leveling off of the infection rate in Tartu (red line) can be seen in the graph below.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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