COVID-19 Engineering Lecture Series – Sewage Surveillance

Feb 25, 2021


Sewage Surveillance as an Early Warning Signal for Control of COVID-19 in Communities of Hong Kong

Speaker: Professor Tong Zhang
Professor (Water and Environmental Engineering), Department of Civil Engineering, HKU

Facilitator: Professor S.C. Wong
Associate Dean (Development and External Relations), Faculty of Engineering, HKU

Date: 25 February, 2021 (Thursday)
Time: HK Time 18:00 – 19:00
Medium of the talk: English
Via Zoom | Online registration: 

In this lecture, Professor Zhang will share about the early detection and surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 is a key pre-requisite for effective control of COVID-19. Sewage testing has been increasingly employed as an alternative surveillance tool. However, sewage surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 is a rapidly evolving science, and there are no common practices and reference methods as not much valid data has been published about how this technology can be practically implemented and interpreted for public health actions. The team validated a testing method for quantifying SARS-CoV-2 in sewage using heat-inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus and sample collected from a local hospital treating COVID-19 patients. Hundreds of sewage samples collected during the 3rd and 4th waves of COVID-19 in Hong Kong informed the trend of COVID-19 development in different catchment areas. Starting from December 28, 2020, the legal enforcement of compulsory testing triggered by sewage surveillance uncovered many hidden cases in the communities of Hong Kong and helped the control of COVID-19.

All are welcome!