With rise in Covid-19 cases, biomedical waste in Ghaziabad increases by 390%Updated: Jul 11, 2020 00:11 IST
With the rise in the number of coronavirus cases in Ghaziabad, the biomedical waste (BMW) generated in the district has increased by about 390%.
According to data by the Uttar Pradesh pollution control board (UPPCB), the district generated about 3152.7 kilogram(kg) of BMW in April, 2,685.73 kg in May, and 12,321.2 kg in June alone. Officials said that majority of the BMW generated in the district was related to the treatment of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and its amount increased as more Covid facilities opened in the district.
Before the outbreak, the district generated about 1,100-1,200 kg of bio-medical waste per month.
“The spike in the generation of biomedical waste is a result of many Covid treatment facilities being opened in the district. Also, since the number of Covid-19 cases are rising, the amount of biomedical waste is also increasing. We have two private agencies which are collecting such waste, and they have been instructed to pick up the waste each day on time and take it to incinerators for its scientific disposal,” said Utsav Sharma, regional officer of the pollution board.
“We are carefully monitoring the lifting and disposal of the BMW related to Covid-19, and are also sending regular reports to the Central Pollution Control Board,” he added.
The officials said that the BMW generation came down in the month of May as the district had less number of active cases and had a high discharge rate. According to official records, with a total of 305 cases till May 31, the discharge rate for the district was at about 76.39%.
Till July 9, Ghaziabad had a total of 2,740 Covid-19 cases which includes 64 deaths, 1324 patients who were discharged, and the remaining 1,352 as active cases.
According to officials, the amount of bio-medical waste also increased in wake of the revised guidelines issued on June 18 regarding Covid-19 related waste. “Till then, only PPE kits, face masks, etc. at hospitals were categorized as BMW. Later when the guidelines were revised, all the waste generated from Covid hospitals is considered to be BMW be it leftover food, water bottles among other things. Hence, there has been a considerable spike in the quantity in June,” said Sanjay Kushaik, regional manager (administration), Synergy Waste Management Pvt Ltd, one of the companies dealing in the disposal of BMW in Ghaziabad.
“Since many Covid-19 facilities were opened up and Ghaziabad, the generation of BMW is also on the rise. In the month of July so far, an average of 750-800 kg of BMW has been collected per day,” he added.
At present, seven hospitals in Ghaziabad are providing Covid treatment as the health department ropes in more hospitals for the job. Currently, the seven hospitals have 444 beds, while 150 more will be added in the district soon when two more hospitals start providing Covid treatment.
“The waste management companies have already been working in Ghaziabad for safe disposal of BMW waste. Our officials are also tracking the lifting of BMW and that it is disposed off regularly without any delays. If the number of Covid cases rise, the generation of BMW will also increase in the future,” said Dr NK Gupta, chief medical officer.