A video is in circulation on WhatsApp with a claim that Municipality water is testing positive for COVID-19.
The same video has been in circulation on social media with the claim, 'Tap water tests positive for COVID-19'
Several users from various countries shared this video relating to their regional water sources implying that the water sources carry COVID infection in them.
The claim that video shows Municipality water testing positive for COVID-19 is FALSE.
The video in question has NOT originated in India. We can see several users outside India sharing the video.
Upon searching whether COVID-19 can be transmitted through water, we found considerable sources denying the claim.
According to WHO documents, although persistence in drinking-water is possible, there is no evidence from surrogate human coronavirus that they are present in surface or groundwater sources or transmitted through contaminated drinking water.
The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water, and based on current evidence, the risk is low.
Drinking water is not transmitting COVID-19. And, if you swim in a swimming pool or in a pond, you cannot get COVID-19 through the water. But what can happen, if the swimming pool is crowded and someone is infected, then there is a chance of contracting the infection. So, that's why even in swimming pools, it's important to maintain physical distancing.
Here is a scientific study demonstrates that the transmission of coronavirus would be less than enteroviruses in the aqueous environment due to the fact that coronavirus is more rapidly inactivated in water and wastewater at ambient temperatures.
The virus is not a waterborne pathogen. The World Health Organization says its "risk to water supplies is low."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) affirmed that "the virus that causes COVID-19 has not been detected in treated drinking water." And the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which regulates public drinking water, recommends we continue to drink from our taps, as municipal water systems are required by law to remove or kill pathogens, including viruses like COVID-19.
The test kit used in the video is the "Abbott Panbio ™ COVID-19 rapid test, Corona-Antigen test". According to the sources, to perform the test, we take a nasopharyngeal smear which is then immersed in a special solution contained in the test package.
From there we put 5 drops of the solution in the circular recess of the test as shown in the diagram below and in the relevant instruction video of the company and we wait to see the resulting indication. The schematic diagram can be found here.
As can be seen from the above representation of the procedure, in order for the test to be positive, the line in position C and the line in position T must be visible.
Antigen tests, such as the one we are considering, are called lateral flow chromatographic tests. It is practically an absorbent tape on which antibodies to a specific antigen have been placed, which in this case is a SARS-CoV-2 virus protein.
Antigens with antibodies act as lock and key, so when the correct antibody comes in contact with the appropriate antigen the two are linked and the test is configured in such a way that, when this occurs, a line display is displayed at the appropriate point in the film.
The test is configured to work with a solution of defined properties such as acidity. So, if a solution with the wrong pH is used, it can destroy the antibodies in the film, giving an invalid result, which would seem like a positive result.
The test, however, takes a minimum of 15 to a maximum of 20 minutes to give accurate results. So, when tap water without being processed correctly yielding results within seconds should be considered invalid.
We can see the individual steps to perform the test properly and collect the samples in this video by Rapid Response – Producer of the antigen test.
Director, Digital Media, Govt of Telangana, and Konatham Dileep rubbished the viral claims and clarified that "this video doing rounds in WhatsApp is NOT from Telangana. Do not share or forward videos or photos without verifying. Please exercise caution!"
This claim has been previously debunked by
Hence, the video in question has NOT originated from Hyderabad or in India. So the claim that it shows Government Municipal water testing positive for COVID is FALSE. Also, the procedure used to test the tap water is NOT correct. Therefore, the results are INVALID, due to inaccurate procedure.
The claim that the viral video shows Municipality water testing positive for COVID-19 is FALSE.