Paris finds ‘minuscule traces’ of coronavirus in its non-potable water

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“Minuscule traces” of the new coronavirus have been found in Paris’s non-potable water such as the supply used for cleaning streets, a city official said, adding that the city’s drinking water is at no risk of contamination.

The Paris water authority’s laboratory detected tiny amounts of the virus in four of 27 samples collected from around the capital, leading to an immediate shutdown of the network as a precaution, Celia Blauel told AFP.

Drinking water is supplied from a “totally independent” network and “can be consumed without any risk,” stressed Blauel, the city’s top environmental official.

Non-potable water, drawn from the Seine River and the Ourcq canal, is used to clean streets and to water the greenery in the city’s parks and gardens – currently closed to the public – as well as supplying their ornamental fountains.

The city of Paris is consulting the regional health agency for a risk analysis before deciding how to proceed, Blauel said.

France on Sunday reported 395 deaths from COVID-19 in 24 hours as the number of new hospitalizations continued a slow decline.

The new deaths – 227 in hospitals and 168 in nursing homes – brought France's total epidemic death toll to 19,718, top health official Jerome Salomon told reporters.

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