The total known and reported number of people infected in South Africa may not necessarily be the true picture of the prevalence of the corona virus in our communities across the country. The above hypothesis is likely to be true because of the following reasons, that:
- Access to healthcare facilities is still a challenge in rural areas;
- There could be limited testing completed in communities living in rural and informal settlements due to limited resources (test kits and healthcare workers);
- Some people may be testing only when they experience major symptoms and/or complications e.g. breathing;
- Some people may consider testing only when they experience mild symptoms;
- Some people may not be able to test because of financial limitations/constraints.
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses causing a spectrum of disease ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Since SARS-CoV-2 (as well as other coronaviruses) has been found in the faecal samples and anal swabs of some patients, the possibility of faecal-oral (including waterborne) transmission needs to be investigated and clarified (La Rosa et al., 2020). The fate of the coronaviruses in water resources is still not adequately documented in literature.
There is a need to investigate in the following three main areas:
- CoV persistence/ survival in water environments;
- CoV occurrence in water environments;
- Methods for recovery of CoV from waters.