The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has issued guidelines for management of waste generated during the diagnostics and treatment of suspected and confirmed Covid-19 patients. While State Governments and Center have initiated various steps to deal with the pandemic, the apex pollution monitoring body said specific guidelines are required to be followed by all, including isolation wards, quarantine centers, sample collection centers, laboratories, ULBs and common biomedical waste treatment and disposal facilities, in addition to existing practices under BMW Management Rules, 2016.
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 color 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 two 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 labeled 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.
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.