Story By: Ernest Bio Bogore, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
A town was sent into panic amid fears that coronavirus was spreading through their tap water after a bungling mayor sent them letters telling them to boil it before drinking.
The message was signed by the Mayor of the commune of Redange in the north-eastern French department of Moselle and was posted onto social media yesterday (Tuesday).
The message in its entirety reads: “Madam, Sir, due to the health crisis caused by COVID-19 and as a safety measure, the ARS (Regional Health Agency) advises you to boil your tap water before consuming it (until further notice)”.
Questioned by local media, the town hall of Redange confirmed that they had sent the message distributed in residents’ letterboxes but specifies that it “has no link with a fear of spreading the coronavirus through drinking water”.
According to the town hall: “The latest analysis of the ARS on the quality of our drinking water found a risk of contamination due to the turbidity [cloudy water] caused by the heavy rains of recent weeks.
“So we are waiting for the second check from the network to see if this problem is solved but, because of the coronavirus [and containment], the check has not yet taken place.”
Reports state that water analysis was undertaken in the commune on 10th March.
An excerpt from the report of the analysis reads: “The feed water [is] not in compliance with the regulatory quality limit for the turbidity parameter.
“Turbidity can create a risk of microbiological contamination and disrupt disinfection. Corrective action must be taken to restore water quality. Re-testing is underway.”
According to the town hall, the mention of “the health crisis caused by COVID-19” has, in fact, nothing to do with the pollution and should never have been in the message.
The municipality says that a specific treatment will be implemented “in the coming days to restore the initial quality of the water.”
Meanwhile, they insist that people should boil the water before consumption.
France has recorded 22,637 cases, with 1,102 deaths, according to the latest data from the Johns Hopkins University.
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