What if corona virus is itself a by-product of Bio-medical waste..!!!
Today the entire human civilization is facing the dominance of the expanded tentacles of COVID 19 disease. It is a global emergency for the human race. All the countries in every corner of the world are trying to combat with the situation by adopting various mechanisms. Its infectious capability is much more higher than its lethal power. Due to its high penetration rate in human population; WHO earmarked its effect a pandemic.
The disease is spreading from one infectious person to others in an exponential rate. The study says that one person can infect 2.2 uninfected persons. It is really dangerous for thickly populated countries like India. If it breaks out; the control over the health service would have been a pathetic scenario due to its wide spread among high density population. Actually countries are adopting any one of the two or both strategies to tackle the pandemic. The first one is to enhance the health service facilities by providing sufficient number of health units, beds, ventilations, test kits along with health workers like doctors, nurses with adequate supply of resources like personal protective equipment (PPE). Second one is forceful imposition of self-isolation and maintaining social distancing.
Possible threat comes not only from infected person; but also from the Bio- medical wastes contaminated with the virus. Bio-medical waste is generated from biological and medical sources and activities, such as the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of diseases. Common generators (or producers) of biomedical wastes include COVID treating hospitals, medical research laboratories, offices of physicians taking samples, morgues or funeral homes. Bio-medical wastes from those settings may pose an injury and exposure risks via occupational contact with medical waste for doctors, nurses and janitorial, laundry and refuse workers. So all personnel who are associated with such facilities are at high risk of the disease. As it is clear to us the more and more health care facilities mean more generation of Bio-medical wastes. So whatever precautions for its proper disposal are to be taken to be known to those personnel associated very well.
Now, the focus will be given on the sectors which are to be victimized by bio-medica wastes of COVID 19.
- RISK AT COVID 19 ISOLATION WARD
In this ward THE COVID19 patients are admitted for treatment. The chance of getting infection is very high in this zone. The persons who are appointed to these wards should follow the guidelines of proper handling of Bio-medical as implemented by the Expert Committee viz.- separate colored bin/bag or container are to used, always use double layer bags for collecting waste from COVID 19 isolation wards etc.. The sanitizer workers should store the container separately and labelled the collection bin as “COVID 19”. Precautions should be taken while removing and disposing them off. Record should be kept on bio-medical waste of COVID 19.
- RISK AT TESTING CENTRE FOR COVID 19
Generally testing centres are the sample testing centres or laboratories for COVID 19 suspected patients under specific SPCBs. If any COVID 19 positive case has been found, then risk of infection is also there. In this sector, same type of precautionary measures are taken for handling, disposal and storage of the bio-medical wastes as followed in Isolation wards.
- RISK AT HOME CARE/QUARANTINE CAMP FOR COVID 19 SUSPECTED
This zone is created for COVID 19 suspected persons. The suspected are staying at either home quarantine or quarantine camps. Until any positive patient is not found, there is no risk. Still proper precautions and safety measures must be taken from the very first day of quarantine both by the quarantined people as well as quarantine camp staffs. In this unit the generation of biomedical waste is of less amount. Any bio-medical wastes are generated from home or quarantine camp should be collected in yellow bags/bins and handed over to the waste collector of CBWTF engaged by local bodies. Record should be kept.
- RISK AT COMMON BIO MEDICAL WASTE TREATEMENT FACILITY (CBWTF)
The persons who are engaged as CBWTF waste collector are really at high risk of infections. They are collecting the wastes from isolation ward, testing centres, individual houses, quarantine camps. They need regular sanitization facility and adequate amount of PPE involving three layered mask, splash proof aprons, nitrile gloves and gum boots and safety goggles.
Everybody who are engaged in this tedious job of bio-medical waste management must follow the guidelines while handling, collecting and disposing the waste materials. Always the bio-medical waste should be collected separately from other solid waste and properly labelled as “COVID 19”. Ultimately the bags/bins should be handed over to only CBMWRF authorized collectors. Proper records should be maintain at every point of operation.
On March 18th, Central Pollution Control Board released a set of guidelines regarding handling, collecting, treatment and disposal of bio-medical wastes generated during treatment, diagnosis and quarantine of COVID19 patients. Every persons must follow the guidelines. Otherwise we can’t check the spreading of COVID 19 from bio medical wastes. The concerned must look the matter seriously to minimize the number of COVID 19 victims.
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