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Waste management guidelines for COVID-19 patients

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Covid-19 waste management guidelines issued by CPCB. Representational image. Photo | PTI
Covid-19 waste management guidelines issued by CPCB. Representational image. Photo | PTI


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New Delhi: Using double layered bags, mandatory labelling and colour coded bins for the management of waste generated during the diagnostics and treatment of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients are part of the guidelines issued by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

The apex pollution monitoring body said specific guidelines are required to be followed by all, including isolation wards, quarantine centres, sample collection centres, laboratories, ULBs and common biomedical waste treatment and disposal facilities, in addition to existing practices under BMW Management Rules, 2016.

The CPCB has also written to the state pollution control boards and pollution control committees to consider operation of common bio-medical waste treatment and disposal facility and its associated staff as essential service part of health infrastructure.

“These guidelines are based on current knowledge on COVID-19 and existing practices in management of infectious waste generated in hospitals while treating viral and other contagious diseases like HIV, H1N1, etc. These guidelines will be updated if need arises.

“This Revision-2 of guidelines is mainly to incorporate specific requirements and responsibilities of persons operating sewage treatment plants at healthcare facilities and to clarify on management of general waste from quarantine homes and masks/gloves from other households,” the CPCB said.

According to the guidelines, healthcare facilities having isolation wards for COVID-19 patients need to keep separate colour coded bins/bags/containers in wards and maintain proper segregation of waste as per BMWM Rules, 2016 as amended and CPCB guidelines for implementation of BMW Management Rules.

“As precaution double layered bags (using 2 bags) should be used for collection of waste from COVID-19 isolation wards so as to ensure adequate strength and no-leaks.

“Collect and store biomedical waste separately prior to handing over the same to Common Bio-medical Waste Treatment and Disposal Facility (CBWTF). Use a dedicated collection bin labelled as ‘COVID-19’ to store COVID-19 waste and keep separately in temporary storage room prior to handing over to authorised staff of CBWTF. Biomedical waste collected in such isolation wards can also be lifted directly from ward into CBWTF collection van,” the guidelines said.

In addition to mandatory labelling, bags/containers used for collecting biomedical waste from COVID-19 wards, should be labelled as ‘COVID-19 Waste, it said adding that general waste not having contamination should be disposed as solid waste as per Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.

“Maintain separate record of waste generated from COVID-19 isolation wards. Use dedicated trolleys and collection bins in COVID-19 isolation wards. A label ‘COVID-19 Waste’ to be pasted on these items also. The (inner and outer) surface of containers/bins/trolleys used for storage of COVID-19 waste should be disinfected with 1 per cent sodium hypochlorite solution daily.

“Report opening or operation of COVID-19 ward and COVID ICU ward to SPCBs and respective CBWTF located in the area. Depute dedicated sanitation workers separately for biomedical waste and general solid waste so that it can be collected and transferred timely to temporary waste storage area,” the guidelines said.

The CPCB said that faeces from COVID-19 confirmed patient, who is unable to use toilets and excreta is collected in diaper, must be treated as biomedical waste and should be placed in yellow bag/container.


Also read: Covid-19 death toll in India rises to 590, total cases reach 18,601


“However, if a bedpan is used, then faeces is to be washed into toilet and cleaned with a neutral detergent and water, disinfected with a 0.5 pc chlorine solution, then rinsed with clean water. Collect used PPEs such as goggles, face-shield, splash proof apron, plastic coverall, hazmat suit, nitrile gloves into red bag. Collect used masks (including triple layer mask, N95 mask, etc.), head cover/cap, shoe-cover, disposable linen gown, non-plastic or semi-plastic coverall in Yellow bags,” it said.

The pollution monitoring body said that less quantity of biomedical waste is expected from quarantine camps, quarantine home and homecare facilities.

“However, the persons responsible for operating quarantine camps/centers/home-care for suspected COVID-19 persons need to follow the below mentioned steps to ensure safe handling and disposal of waste. General solid waste (household waste) generated from quarantine centers or camps should be handed over to waste collector identified by Urban Local Bodies or as per the prevailing local method of disposing general solid waste,” it said.

Biomedical waste if any generated from quarantine centers/camps should be collected separately in yellow coloured bags, CPCP said.

“Persons operating quarantine camps/centers should call the CBWTF operator to collect biomedical waste as and when it gets generated. Contact details of CBWTFs would be available with local authorities.

The CPCB clarified that quarantine camps, quarantine homes are places where suspected cases or the contacts of suspected or confirmed cases who have been directed by authorized hospitals or local authorities to stay at home for at least 14 days or more for observation for any symptom of COVID-19.

“Biomedical waste generated from quarantine camps/quarantine home/home care would be treated as ‘domestic hazardous waste’ as defined under Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, and shall be disposed as per provisions under Biomedical Waste Management Rules, 2016 and these guidelines,” it said.


Also read: IMA declares 23 April as Black Day in protest against attacks on doctors tackling Covid-19


 

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Andhra doctor, suspended for alleging PPE shortage, now beaten by cops for ‘creating nuisance’

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doctor with a stethoscope
A doctor with a stethoscope (Representative image) | Pixabay


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Bengaluru: A doctor with a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh, who was suspended for questioning the shortage of PPE kits, was admitted to a mental health facility Sunday, a day after he was allegedly manhandled by the police and arrested for creating nuisance in Visakhapatnam.

Dr Sudhakar Rao, a government civil surgeon, was beaten, his hands tied behind his back and dragged by police officers Sunday. During the incident, Sudhakar allegedly verbally abused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in an inebriated state. Videos of the incident have since been widely shared online.

“The police control room received a call about a person creating nuisance on Beach Road Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The Fourth Town police was rushed there and found that the person was the suspended doctor, Sudhakar.

“When the police tried to control him, he snatched the mobile phone of an officer and threw it away. He is suffering from mental disorder and he was drunk. He was sent for a medical examination,” Vishakapatnam Police Commissioner R.K. Meena told the media Sunday.

Sudhakar was admitted to a mental hospital Sunday after doctors at the King George Hospital in Vishakapatnam said he suffered from anxiety.

“Since the doctor is in anxiety and talking irrelevant things, I have referred him to a mental care hospital in Visakhapatnam,” said Dr Radha Rani, medical superintendent, King George Hospital.

A statement released by the hospital said: “Dr Sudhakar was brought to the KGH casualty ward at 6.30 pm. From the smell, it was found that he was in a drunk condition. Under the influence of alcohol, he did not cooperate with anybody there and kept abusing all. Still, his pulse, BP were checked. Pulse was 98, BP 140/100. Blood samples were sent to forensic lab to ascertain alcohol content in his blood.”


Also read: 6 toilets for 20 houses, inadequate testing: Why Mumbai’s Worli chawls are a Covid hotspot


‘Treatment towards Sudhakar was inhuman’

Sudhakar, who spent more than 10 years at the Narsipatnam Government Hospital in Andhra Pradesh, was suspended from his duties in March after he openly criticised the Reddy government for failing to provide PPE kits and N95 masks to doctors treating Covid-19 patients.

He had alleged that the state government was giving N95 masks and PPE kits meant for doctors to politicians and the police.

A video of Sudhakar criticising the government was also shared widely. In the clip, he can be heard saying: “We are putting our lives at risk here. We are asked to use the same mask for 15 days and a fresh mask will be provided only twice a month.”

Speaking to ThePrint, Dr P. Gangadhar Rao, member of the National COVID Committee of the Indian Medical Association, said the manner in which Sudhakar was manhandled by the police was “inhuman” and “violated” human rights.

“We strongly condemn the way he was taken into custody. He was not carrying a weapon, he was alone, the number of policemen outnumbered him. Why treat him like that? We also saw a video where a policeman beats him with a lathi,” said Dr Gangadhar.

He added that Rao was one of the most experienced anaesthetists the Andhra Pradesh government had.

“Our next step of action is to get Sudhakar to write an unconditional apology for having used filthy language, abusing the chief minister and the government. We will then take our appeal to the CM seeking that he be reinstated,” Gangadhar said.


Also read: Face shields, gowns, masks — the new attire for cabin crew post lockdown


 

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