Coronavirus | India witnesses Surge in COVID 19-related biomedical waste

The average monthly generation increased to 139 tonnes per day in April from 75 tonnes in March

The average generation of COVID 19-related biomedical waste in the country shot up from 75 tonnes per day in March to 203 tonnes per day in May following the spike in pandemic cases, according to estimates by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

The average monthly generation increased to 139 tonnes per day in April from 75 tonnes in March. As on May 10, the corresponding figure was 203 tonnes per day. “Peak generation of about 250 tonnes per day was reported on May 10. The earlier peak in the year 2020 was in the range of 180 to 220 tonnes per day,” as per the estimates by the CPCB.

Despite a spike in the number of patients, there was no proportional growth in the quantity of COVID-related biomedical waste generated owing to the proper segregation of waste. Unlike last year, hospitals and isolation wards were not mixing food waste with COVID-waste according to the feedback from the Common Biomedical Waste Treatment Facilities across the country, it said.

Of the estimated total of average 203 tonnes per day of waste in May, Kerala accounted for an average 23.71 tonnes per day. Gujarat recorded a daily generation of 21.98 tonnes followed by Maharashtra (19.02 tonnes per day) and Delhi (18.79 tonnes per day).

The States in which the daily generation of COVID-related biomedical waste was above five tonnes per day include Andhra Pradesh (9.99); Haryana (13.11); Karnataka (16.91); Madhya Pradesh (7.32); Odisha (6.65); Tamil Nadu (13.57); Uttar Pradesh (15.91); and West Bengal (5.72).

The disposal of the waste was done through nearly 198 common biomedical waste treatment facilities across the States. Maharashtra had the highest number of such facilities (29) followed by Karnataka (26) and Gujarat (20). Kerala, which had a high rate of daily generation, had only one common facility. The government had given the consent to establish the second facility in Ernakulam district last week.

The COVID-related biomedical waste has to be disposed of in a scientific manner and as per the provisions of the Biomedical Waste Management Rules, 2016.

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