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In Last Seven Months, India Generated Around 33,000 Tonnes COVID-19 Waste, Maharashtra Biggest Contributor: Report

According to CPCB, daily bio-medical waste generation in India has gone up by 25 per cent in 2020 due to COVID-19

In Last Seven Months, India Generated Around 33,000 Tonnes COVID-19 Waste, Maharashtra Biggest Contributor: Report

New Delhi: With the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing that has remained a constant challenge for India is the management of bio-medical waste and that’s what the recently released data by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) highlights. As per the data, India generated around 33,000 tonnes of COVID-19 biomedical waste in the last seven months. The COVID-19 biomedical waste includes PPE (Personal Protective Equipments) kits, masks, shoe covers, gloves, human tissues, items contaminated with blood, body fluids like dressings, plaster casts, cotton swabs, beddings contaminated with blood or body fluid, blood bags, needles, syringes etc. If not managed scientifically, the bio-medical waste can cause a great harm not only to the environment but also to human health. In the time of coronavirus, the proper handling and treatment of these waste have become all the more important, owing to the quick transmission of the novel coronavirus through touch and surfaces.

Also Read: As India Gears Up To Kick-starts COVID-19 Vaccination Drive From January 16, Dr Randeep Guleria Explains When Will The Common Man Get The Vaccine

According to CPCB, daily bio-medical waste generation in India has gone up by 25 per cent in 2020 due to COVID-19. Before COVID-19 pandemic, regular bio-medical waste generation in India was at 610 MT per day, but with COVID-19 being in picture, the waste has gone upto 765.5 MT per day.

In Last Seven Months, India Generated Around 33,000 Tonnes COVID-19 Waste, Maharashtra Biggest Contributor: Report

The month of October has been tagged as a month that generated maximum amount of COVID-19 waste in last seven months – over 5,500 tonnes.

The CPCB data further highlighted that Maharashtra has been the biggest contributor to India’s overall bio-medical waste as it generated 5,367 tonnes of COVID-19 waste in seven months since June, followed by Kerala (3,300 tonnes), Gujarat (3,086 tonnes), Tamil Nadu (2,806 tonnes), Uttar Pradesh (2,502 tonnes), Delhi (2,471 tonnes), West Bengal (2,095 tonnes) and Karnataka (2,026 tonnes). Whereas, the month of October has been tagged as a month that generated maximum amount of COVID-19 waste in last seven months – over 5,500 tonnes.

Also Read: Stepping Into 2021 With Bio-medical Waste Management Lessons From COVID-19 Pandemic

The CPCB had in March last year issued specific guidelines for handling, treatment and disposal of such waste at healthcare facilities, quarantine centres, homes, sample collection centers, laboratories, pollution control boards, urban local bodies and common biomedical waste treatment facilities (CBWTFs). Guidelines for disposal of COVID-19 waste also applies to COVID-19 patients quarantining at home. Used masks, gloves, tissues, swabs contaminated with blood or body fluids of COVID-19 patients, including used syringes, medicines, are to be treated as bio-medical waste and collected in a yellow bag provided by the urban local body (ULB). Masks and gloves used by persons other than COVID-19 patients should be cut and kept in paper bags for a minimum of 72 hours prior to disposal.

In May, the top pollution body had developed the ”COVID19BWM” mobile application to monitor coronavirus-related biomedical waste and to compile the data through electronic manifest system. This application tracks COVID-19 waste at the time of generation, collection and disposal. In July last year, the Supreme Court made it mandatory for all urban local bodies and state pollution control boards to use the mobile application for tracking biomedical waste daily in a bid to ensure that the waste is collected, transported and sent to the registered CBWTFs.

Talking to NDTV about the waste management challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Swati Sambyal, a Delhi-based waste management expert said,

Segregation has been a major concern in India and lack of systems that support segregation is another.

Also Read: Coronavirus Pandemic Exposes Broken System Of Bio-medical Waste Management; Experts Discuss The Issue And Solutions

Ms Sambyal said that the awareness regarding waste management in India at the household level is extremely poor. She adds that though it has been almost a year since the outbreak of COVID-19 related waste, we still see masks, gloves and even PPE suits carelessly disposed off by the road sides. Many of us also don’t know about the hazards associated with improper management of biomedical waste. She further added,

People have been giving a lot of their mixed household waste in the designated yellow bag meant for COVID-19 waste. Cities that have heavily centralised waste management systems have more challenges over cities with decentralised resource management systems. There are still cities in India that has not implemented the third bin that is meant for hazardous waste. The effective segregated collection of municipal solid waste and bio-medical waste at the household level is of utmost importance and that has not taken place majorly.

On the other hand, Sourabh Manuja, Fellow, Centre for Waste Management, Environment & Waste Management Division at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), said,

Our cities need appropriate training and capacity building along with the infrastructure to manage the bio-medical waste they generate, including domestic hazardous waste.

Both Ms Sambyal and Mr Manuja further said that India has a robust policy for bio-medical waste management but its implementation has always been a challenging aspect. Stressing the way ahead for India, Mr Manuja added,

State and local governments will have to work cohesively with centre to manage bio-medical waste generated (along with a strong political will). For policies to be implemented by urban local bodies, it requires clear local bye laws, with penal mechanism; prior training and capacity building of its employees; involvement of stakeholders while formulating and implementing policies at the city level.

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

22,70,55,138Cases
18,97,86,461Active
3,25,98,424Recovered
46,70,253Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 22,70,55,138 and 46,70,253 have died; 18,97,86,461 are active cases and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 5:36 am.

India

3,33,81,728 34,403Cases
3,39,0563,867Active
3,25,98,424 37,950Recovered
4,44,248 320Deaths
In India, there are 3,33,81,728 confirmed cases including 4,44,248 deaths. The number of active cases is 3,39,056 and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,11,525 3,595

52,893 310

63,20,310 3,240

1,38,322 45

Kerala

44,46,228 22,182

1,86,754 4,559

42,36,309 26,563

23,165 178

Karnataka

29,65,191 1,108

16,202 282

29,11,434 808

37,555 18

Tamil Nadu

26,40,361 1,693

16,756 120

25,88,334 1,548

35,271 25

Andhra Pradesh

20,34,786 1,367

14,708 105

20,06,034 1,248

14,044 14

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,628 23

193 11

16,86,549 11

22,886 1

West Bengal

15,59,567 707

8,025 25

15,32,922 725

18,620 7

Delhi

14,38,373 28

409 5

14,12,880 22

25,084 1

Odisha

10,18,298 580

5,335 105

10,04,845 681

8,118 4

Chhattisgarh

10,04,988 31

352 2

9,91,077 29

13,559

Rajasthan

9,54,230 4

103 1

9,45,173 5

8,954

Gujarat

8,25,677 22

149 0

8,15,446 22

10,082

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,374 7

119 5

7,81,738 12

10,517

Haryana

7,70,697 9

327 8

7,60,562 17

9,808

Bihar

7,25,864 12

72 6

7,16,134 6

9,658

Telangana

6,62,785 259

5,282 43

6,53,603 301

3,900 1

Punjab

6,01,180 30

314 11

5,84,399 38

16,467 3

Assam

5,97,074 468

5,381 15

5,85,914 479

5,779 4

Jharkhand

3,48,102 6

102 8

3,42,867 14

5,133

Uttarakhand

3,43,330 20

284 12

3,35,657 32

7,389

Jammu And Kashmir

3,27,466 170

1,421 72

3,21,630 98

4,415

Himachal Pradesh

2,16,430 127

1,568 82

2,11,215 206

3,647 3

Goa

1,75,183 95

699 1

1,71,195 96

3,289

Puducherry

1,25,170 107

963 63

1,22,380 42

1,827 2

Manipur

1,17,913 216

2,614 7

1,13,478 219

1,821 4

Tripura

83,787 31

427 26

82,553 56

807 1

Meghalaya

78,958 229

1,804 140

75,784 86

1,370 3

Mizoram

76,591 1,121

13,888 85

62,449 1,202

254 4

Chandigarh

65,168 4

31 2

64,319 2

818

Arunachal Pradesh

53,990 47

536 9

53,183 56

271

Sikkim

30,802 64

775 28

29,648 36

379

Nagaland

30,763 32

505 14

29,610 44

648 2

Ladakh

20,631 6

41 1

20,383 5

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,670

5 0

10,661

4

Lakshadweep

10,353

4 0

10,298

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,595 3

15 2

7,451 1

129

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