Investigations into the hepatitis-B outbreak in Gujarat’s Sabarkantha district, which claimed 62 lives last month, have resulted in the seizure of bio-medical waste from a government hospital in Rajkot city. Authorities have also sealed 25 warehouses with 100 tonnes of bio-medical waste in Ahmedabad and Surat.
The bio-medical waste was found hidden on the roof of the government women’s hospital in Rajkot during a surprise check.
“After a tip off from a ward boy, a vigilance team of the Rajkot Municipal Corporation accompanied by the police reached the hospital and found syringes, blood bags, bottles and needles in four large black polythene bags,” a senior official said.
The bio-medical waste had been seized for examination. The official said the matter would be investigated before any conclusions are drawn to fix responsibility for the non-disposal of the waste.
The police have started a probe into an inter-state racket involving scrap dealers and those buying bio-medical waste from them.
The Ahmedabad Municipal Corp (AMC), which is also probing the Sabarkantha district deaths, has named 53 scrap dealers caught in the past week for illegally keeping used syringes and needles in their warehouses.
The AMC has sealed 25 warehouses in Ahmedabad and Surat and seized 100 tonnes of bio-medical waste during the past 10 days.
The official said the initial investigations point towards a strong nexus with some traders in Udaipur district of Rajasthan.