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The ‘very important’ COVID-19 testing we’ve heard little about in Victoria

An infectious diseases expert who is on the panel advising the federal government on COVID-19 says Victoria should be prioritising sewage testing to measure how prevalent the virus is in the community.

Melbourne Water announced testing of human waste was underway in April, but no results have been made public.

Professor of infectious diseases at the ANU Medical School, Peter Collignon, says sewage testing has “got a lot of potential”.

“I think it gives you an early warning that you may have a problem … We want to know where the hotspots are.” he told Neil Mitchell.

“This is testing a whole community … I think it can be very informative.”

“To me it’s a very important addition.”

Professor Collignon says testing of sewage should be completed several times per week, if not daily, and the results should be made public within 48 hours.

3AW Mornings contacted the state government on the issue of sewage testing and received a response saying initial samples have been taken, which are currently being analysed.

Professor Collignon says sewage results can be analysed “within a day”.

Press PLAY below for the full interview.