The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has recently issued guidelines on handling, treatment and disposal of waste generated during treatment and diagnosis of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients.

Using double layered bags, mandatory labelling and colour coded bins for the management of these kinds of wastes are part of the guidelines issued by the CPCB.

The organization said that the specific guidelines are required to be followed by all, including isolation wards, quarantine centres, sample collection centres, laboratories, ULBs and common biomedical waste treatment and disposal facilities, in addition to existing practices under BMW Management Rules, 2016.

“These guidelines are based on current knowledge on Covid-19 and existing practices in management of infectious waste generated in hospitals while treating viral and other contagious diseases like HIV, H1N1, etc,” the CPCB added.

According to the guidelines, healthcare facilities having isolation wards for COVID-19 patients need to keep separate colour-coded bins/bags/containers in the wards and maintain proper segregation of waste as per BMWM Rules, 2016 as amended and CPCB guidelines for implementation of BMW Management Rules.

“As precaution double-layered bags (using 2 bags) should be used for the collection of waste from COVID-19 isolation wards so as to ensure adequate strength and no-leaks.

“Collect and store biomedical waste separately prior to handing over the same to Common Bio-medical Waste Treatment and Disposal Facility (CBWTF). Use a dedicated collection bin labelled as ‘Covid-19’ to store COVID-19 waste and keep separately in temporary storage room prior to handing over to authorised staff of CBWTF. Biomedical waste collected in such isolation wards can also be lifted directly from ward into CBWTF collection van,” the guidelines said

In addition to mandatory labelling, bags/containers used for collecting biomedical waste from Covid-19 wards, should be labelled as ‘Covid-19 Waste’, it said.

“Maintain separate record of waste generated from COVID-19 isolation wards. Use dedicated trolleys and collection bins in COVID-19 isolation wards. A label ‘Covid-19 Waste’ to be pasted on these items also.

“The (inner and outer) surface of containers/bins/trolleys used for storage of COVID-19 waste should be disinfected with 1 per cent sodium hypochlorite solution daily,” the guidelines added.

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