Guidelines issued for the collection and disposal of COVID bio-waste

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Telangana Pollution Control Board has issued detailed guidelines to all Health Care Establishments (HCFs), Common Bio-Medical Waste Management Facilities(CBMWTFs), Urban Local Bodies and General Public to be followed the specific procedure or guidelines for handling, collection, transportation, treatment & disposal of Bio-Medical Waste generated from COVID-19 patients and suspected persons as under:

DOs:

  • Keep separate colour-coded bins/bags containers inwards and maintain proper segregation of waste as per BMWM Rules, 2016 and CPCB Guidelines.
  • As precaution double-layered bags (2bags) should be used for the collection of waste from COVID-19 isolation wards to ensure adequate strength and no-leaks.
  • Used Personnel Protective Equipments (PPEs) such as goggles, face-shield, splash-proof apron, Plastic Coverall, Hazmat suit, nitrile gloves shall be collected in Red bag.
  • Collect used masks (including triple-layer mask, N95 mask, etc.), head cover/cap, shoe-cover, disposable linen Gown, non-plastic or semi-plastic coverall in Yellow bags. 
  • Bags containers used for collecting biomedical waste from COVID-19 wards should be labelled as COVID-19 Waste to identify the waste easily for priority treatment and immediate disposal.
  • Solid Waste not part of BMW should be disposed of as per SWM Rules, 2016.
  • A separate record of waste generated from COVID-19 Isolation wards shall be maintained by HCFs and CBMWTFs.
  • Dedicated trolleys and collection bins with COVID-19 Waste label are to be used in COVID-19 isolation wards.
  • The (inner and outer) Surface of containers bins/trolleys used for storage of COVID-19 waste should be disinfected with 1% sodium hypochlorite solution daily.
  • Opening or operation of COVID-19 ward and COVID ICU ward should be reported to SPCBs and respective CBWTF located in the areas. 
  • Dedicated sanitation workers should be deputed separately for Bio-medical Waste and General Solid Waste.
  • Biomedical waste if any generated from quarantine centre / Camps should be collected separately in yellow coloured bags (suitable for biomedical waste collection) provided by ULBs.
  • Persons operating the quarantine camps/centres should call the CBWTF operator to collect the biomedical waste as and when it gets generated.
  • Common Biomedical Waste Treatment Facility (CBWTF) shall provide adequate PPEs including three-layer masks, splash-proof aprons / Gowns, Nitrite gloves gumboots and safety goggles to their workers.
  • A dedicated vehicle, with a separate label, should be used to collect COVID-19 ward waste and such Vehicles should be sanitized with sodium hypochlorite or any appropriate chemical disinfectant after every trip.
  • Waste generated from home–care suspected patients shall be collected in yellow bags and shall be handed over to authorized waste collectors engaged by local bodies and Urban Local Body should engage CBWTFs to pick up such waste either directly from such quarantined houses or from identified collection points. 
  • Used masks and gloves generated from home quarantine or other households should be kept in a paper bag for a minimum of 72 hours prior to disposal of the same as general waste.
  • It is advisable to cut the masks prior to disposal to prevent reuse.
  • COVID-19 sample collection centres and laboratories shall collect pre-treat viral transport media, plastic vials, vacutainers, Eppendorf tubes, plastic cryovials, pipette in Red bags.
  • HCFs and the agencies operating Sewage Treatment Plants should continue to ensure disinfection of treated wastewater as per prevailing practices to inactivate coronaviruses.
  • Operators of ETPs/STPs attached with discharge from Healthcare Facilities and isolation wards should adopt standard operational practices, practice basic hygiene precautions, and wear personal protective equipment (PPE) prescribed for the operation of STPs.
  • PPEs should include Goggles, face mask, liquid repellant coveralls, waterproof gloves and rubber boots. 
  • During the period of COVID-19 pandemic, utilization of treated wastewater in utilities within HCFs may be avoided.

DON’Ts:

  • Do not mix COVID-19 Waste with any other types of waste.
  • Do not get exposed to COVID-19 Waste without adequate PPEs.Do not store COVID-19 waste for more than 24 hours. 
  • Do not allow any worker showing symptoms of illness to work at the facility.