Nazma khatun ##
India generated around 33,000 tonnes of COVID-19 biomedical waste in the last seven months, with Maharashtra contributing the maximum (3,587 tonnes) to it, according to Central Pollution Control Board(CPCB) data.
COVID-19 biomedical waste could include PPE 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.
According to the data, Maharashtra 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).
Delhi generated 321 tonnes of COVID-19 bio-medical waste in December, according to the CPCB data.
Around 4,864 tonnes of COVID-19 waste was generated in November, of which 609 tonnes was contributed by Maharashtra, 600 tonnes by Kerala, 423 tonnes by Gujarat and 385 tonnes by Delhi.
In October, the country generated 5,597 tonnes of COVID-19 waste, the maximum in the last seven months, with Kerala (641), Gujarat (545) and Maharashtra (542) being the top three contributors.
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).
The apex pollution body had in May 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.
As on Sunday, India’s COVID-19 caseload stands at 1,04,50,284 while the death toll is 1,50,999.