New coronavirus circulating in Spain since 2019, according to study


Madrid, Jun 26 (Plenglish) The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19 disease, was detected in wastewater samples collected in the Spanish city of Barcelona on March 12, 2019, a study revealed Friday.

Conducted by the University of Barcelona (UB), the research would indicate that the infection was present ‘long before any case of Covid-19 was reported in the world,’ according to experts from that academic institution.

It would also prove that the virus was circulating in Spain a year before the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic, on March 11, and the health crisis broke out across the planet.

The UB researchers studied weekly samples obtained from two wastewater treatment plants in the regional capital of Catalonia (northeast), under the premise that there are large quantities of the new coronavirus genome in the faeces.

‘The levels of the SARS-CoV-2 genome clearly coincided with the evolution of the cases of Covid-19 in the population’, explained the coordinator of the study and president of the Spanish Virology Society, Albert Bosch, quoted by various media.

All the samples analyzed were negative with the exception of that of March 12, 2019, which showed levels of SARS-CoV-2 ‘very low, but clearly positive with a PCR test,’ said the UB in a statement.


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