Vijayawada: Scientific disposal of Bio-Medical Waste (BMW) of the COVID-19 patients have posed the biggest challenge for the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB). There are 594 COVID-19 notified Hospitals in the State generating about 38 MTs of Bio-Medical Waste (District wise details enclosed) per day.

There are 12 Common Bio-Medical Waste Treatment and Disposal Facilities (CBMWTF) connected to these 594 COVID-19 notified Hospitals for collection and scientific disposal of the COVID-19 medical waste. APPCB is closely monitoring the collection, transportation, and treatment of the COVID-19 Medical Waste for which a Mobile App has been developed and it is mandatory for the COVID-19 Hospitals to register, update the generation/segregation details of the Medical Waste through the App and transportation to the CBMWTF is also being tracked through GPS. Continuous Ambient Air Quality (CAAQ) monitoring is also being done at the CBMWTFs to ensure that the emission standards are within the permissible limits.

APPCB has made it now mandatory for all the Hospitals/Dispensaries, Quarantine Centers, and Testing Laboratories in the State dealing with diagnostics and treatment of COVID-19 suspected/confirmed patients to register themselves and use the Mobile App while handing the medical waste with proper segregation and transportation to the CBMWTFs for treatment.

APPCB has prescribed detailed guidelines for handling, treatment and disposal of COVID-19 waste at Health Care Facilities, Quarantine Camps, Quarantine Homes, Home Care, Sample Collection Centers, and Laboratories. Only the used masks, gloves, and tissues or swabs contaminated with blood/body fluids of COVID-19 patients including syringes, medicines, etc if any generated should be treated as bio-medical waste and the same is to be collected in a separate Yellow Bag. Masks and gloves used by persons other than COVID-19 patients should be kept in a paper bag for a minimum of 72 hours prior to disposal of the same as general waste after cutting the same to prevent reuse.

COVID-19 positive patients at home under home care facility must handover the domestic hazardous waste generated during home care in a separate Yellow Bag to the Municipalities and Gram Panchayats concerned who must hand over to the nearest CBMWTFs for disposal as bio-medical waste.

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