In front of an Ehpad in the northern districts of Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône), firefighters are tracking Covid-19 residues in the sewers. After taking a sample, they send it to the laboratory and receive the results within 6 hours. “If it is positive, we can interpret it as at least one person in 100 in this building is positive, it will be able to set up a screening campaign and avoid clusters within establishments.“, explains Younes Lazrak, general manager of a laboratory.
Samples of wastewater arriving in the laboratory show a higher concentration of the virus, including variants, in recent weeks in Marseille, especially in nursing homes. Between 9 and 15% of the samples taken in nursing homes are positive. Wastewater draws a map of the coronavirus in Marseille. “We start from the city center and arrive in an area where there is a fairly disadvantaged habitat, with a high population density.“, analyzes Rear Admiral Patrick Augier, head of the Marseille firefighter battalion.
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