Hyderabad: Telangana generated 1,109.7 tonnes of bio-medical waste pertaining to COVID-19 treatment between June 2020 and June 2021. This means the state generated 3.3 tonnes of COVID-19 waste per day. This is just 15 per cent of medical waste generated by the state.
According to the Telangana Pollution Control Board, the state generates around 23 tonnes of bio-medical waste per day. It should be noted that the state has the capacity to treat only 18.7 tonnes.
To track the generation and disposal of COVID-19 bio-medical waste (BMW), the Central Pollution Control Board has developed an app called COVID19 BMW.
The minister of state for health, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, said in a year around 56,898.4 tonnes of COVID-19 BMW was produced in the country. Andhra Pradesh produced 2,877.5 tonnes of COVID-19 BMW while Maharashtra produced the highest, 8,317 tonnes.
Since March 2020, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has developed guidelines for handling, treatment, and disposal of COVID-19 BMW generated during treatment, diagnosis, and quarantine of COVID-19 patients under the provisions of Biomedical Waste Management Rules 2016 (BMWM Rules 2016).
According to the guidelines, healthcare facilities are required to segregate the BMW at source and hand over such segregated waste to the common bio-medical waste treatment facility operators for treatment and disposal. Similarly, the waste generated from quarantine camps, home quarantine, and home isolation is treated as 'domestic hazardous waste' as defined under Solid Waste Management Rules 2016 for collection by urban local bodies and thereafter disposed as per the provisions of BMWM Rules 2016.
According to the CPCB guidelines, hospitals with isolation wards for COVID-19 patients need to keep separate color-coded bins in the wards and maintain proper segregation of waste. The guideline also includes using double-layered bags and mandatory labeling.