Possible effects of COVID-19 on sustainability of aquatic ecosystems: An overview

Coronavirus is an envelope virus that is persistent in the environment and easily inactivated by the use of chlorine disinfectants. It is a virus novel to human and the first occurrence (SARS-CoV) was detected in Hong Kong in 2003 and a new strain (SARS-CoV-2) in Wuhan, China in 2019. The pandemic had spread throughout the world and is spread through respiratory droplets and fecal-oral routes. The use of chlorine disinfectants has been reported to be the best economic solution to the virus and its use has been on the rise leading to increased wastewater generation. Presently, the existence of coronavirus has been reported in wastewater from indoor and outdoor sources and exposure of the aquatic ecosystem to this elevated concentration of chlorine in wastewater can threaten its sustainability and biodiversity. When aerosols or leakages occur from the sources of wastewater, humans can be infected by the virus by inhaling through the respiratory outlets. This review, therefore, highlights the possible presence and effect of the virus in waste water-based and how the aquatic environment can be sustained.

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