In a shocking development, the presence of a new coronavirus, which caused the ongoing pandemic, has reportedly been discovered in the waters of the Bharalu River, which flows through Assam's capital city of Guwahati.
A strain of the deadly virus has also been discovered in Gujarat's Sarbarmati river and other water sources. It has taken medical researchers by surprise.
According to reports, a group of scientists from eight prominent research institutes in the country, including IIT Gandhinagar, recently conducted a study on water samples collected from various water sources, including the Bharalu. They discovered the presence of the deadly virus in the sample during their testing.
Manish Kumar from the Department of Earth Science at IIT Gandhinagar informed the media that they had collected and tested water samples from various rivers and other natural water sources. They discovered the presence of the deadly pathogen in the samples, which came as a complete surprise to them.
"Our research team has been collecting samples for the testing from various rivers and other water sources since September 3, 2020. We have tested these samples and found the presence of new coronavirus there,'' he added.
According to the report, the presence of the virus was also discovered in a water sample collected from the Bharalu river during the testing.
Similar experiments should be carried out across the country, according to the experts. They claimed that the virus might survive in natural waterways for an indefinite period of time.
Earlier this week, Karnataka became the first state in India to use a city sewage surveillance system in Bengaluru to identify possible Covid-19 hotspots.
Previously, the bodies of Covid-19-infected people were discovered floating in the Ganga in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. According to local accounts, more than 100 bodies were tossed into the river. The researchers say that this might have been the cause for the spread of this deadly infectious virus in the water bodies.