AdP Group collaborating with the European Commission

The Humberto Delgado Airport in Lisbon was one of the sites chosen by the Joint Research Center (the internal scientific service of the European Commission) to host a preliminary study for the identification of variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The Águas de Portugal Group, through Águas do Tejo Atlântico, and the Portuguese Environment Agency are responsible for collecting the samples. 

This work falls within the scope of the future of a regular surveillance system for the circulation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its respective variants and the definition of an early warning system that draws upon analysis of domestic wastewaters.

The study has a seven-month duration with the Humberto Delgado Airport classed as a ‘super site’ taking into account how this is not only a major transport centre but also located in a zone of high population density and with an important mobility function. The choice of the Lisbon Airport further considered that this was a site with connections to various Portuguese speaking cities, whether located in Brazil or Africa, as well as other cities across Europe, China, the United States and India. 

The samples are to be collected and sent to the international laboratories that partner the aforementioned Joint Research Centre, which shall subsequently be publishing the results of the study. The costs incurred with analysing the samples are paid for by the Joint Research Centre.

This preliminary study stems from the publication of Recommendation 2021/472 as regards a common approach to establishing a systematic surveillance system for SARS-CoV-2 and its respective variants covering wastewaters tested from across Europe.

Portugal is currently preparing for the application of the EU Recommendation at the national level and has already founded a team, which includes technical experts from the Águas de Portugal Group, the Portuguese Environment Agency and other entities.

Through collaboration with the consortium responsible for the COVIDETECT pilot project with the European Commission under the auspices of the pan-European initiative for the application of domestic wastewaters as a means of detecting the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the respective populations, Portugal made an active contribution to drafting the final text of this Recommendation.

Launched in April 2020 with financing from FEDER through the Compete 2020 program, the COVIDETECT project is undergoing development by a consortium including various AdP - Águas de Portugal Group companies, the Faculty of Science of the University of Lisbon and the Analysis Laboratory of the Higher Technical Institute.

28 of June of 2021