It is alarming to note that more than 90 percent of Covid protective gear including masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment (PPE) are not being disposed of properly in Bangladesh. Protective gears pose a serious problem when they are not properly disposed of in the trash and an even bigger problem when they are just tossed onto the ground. It needs no emphasising that people who are not properly discarding those products when they’re done with them are creating an unnecessary risk of exposure for those tasked with cleaning up the litter, as well as the public.
Necessary steps should be
taken to ensure that discarded
medical waste does not
make the coronavirus pandemic worse
It is alarming to note that most of the hospitals in the country are giving treatment to coronavirus infected patients without following proper rules and regulations concerning dumping of the infectious medical wastes. World Health Organization (WHO) standard PPE are for one time use—every set of PPE becomes hazardous medical waste after being used for a single time. Besides PPE, there are other hazardous waste like facial tissue, gauze pieces, masks, oxygen masks, saline bags, disposable syringes, needles etc., that are being used to treat patients.
Experts assert that medical waste must be burned under controlled environment at more than 700 degree Celsius, and the gas should be released into the environment after filtering harmful particles. But since we have not been able to develop our medical waste management system up to this point, we have to treat our medical wastes very carefully with whatever limited resources we have. No doubt more resources and public awareness are urgently needed to ensure that discarded medical wastes do not make the coronavirus pandemic worse.