Nagpur: Biomedical waste generation in the city has seen a steep decline as most private hospitals and clinics remained closed after the first coronavirus patient was detected here in March. Out of an average of 3,136 kg of hospital waste generated per day, the city generates 900 kg less biomedical waste per day, according to data obtained from the solid waste management department of Nagpur Municipal Corporation.
The NMC has appointed a private agency to collect biomedical waste from over 1,800 institutions, including 632 private hospitals/clinics, OPDs, pathology laboratories, radiology centres, etc. Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) and Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and Hospital (IGGMCH) have their own biomedical waste disposal facility. Biomedical waste collected by NMC is being treated at the Bhandewadi dumping yard.
According to statistics, the city generated around 83,049 kg of biomedical waste in March 2020. “Pre-coronavirus outbreaks, i.e. around 40,771 kg of biomedical waste generated by private hospitals and clinics in the city from 1 to 13 March,” said a senior official from the Department of Solid Waste Management.
In a query, the official pointed out that most private doctors with clinics and even bed hospitals had shut down their clinics in the light of the outbreak of COVID-19, which led to the closure of the clinic.
Most private medical practitioners did not open their clinics during the lockdown, even after orders from the NMC. This has led to a reduction in the generation of biomedical waste. The administration also warned against action against those doctors who still keep the dispensaries closed.
A private practitioner, asking for anonymity, pointed out that most private clinics lack safety equipment. “There is a shortage of N95 masks, too. In the absence of personal protective equipment (PPEs), we may come into contact with the virus if we keep the OPDs open. As a result, most doctors preferred to keep the clinics closed, “he said.
According to the Central Pollution Control Board, NMC has directed all hospitals across corporate boundaries to dispose of biomedical waste from coronary patients in yellow-coloured bags only.
Box Decoding colour-coded bags Yellow: human tissues, organs, body parts, blood / body-contaminated objects, dirt cotton & dressing, dirt plaster castings etc Red: catheters, tubes, cannulae, syringes, plastic IV bottles & sets, used gloves, infected plastics, specimen containers, lab waste, microbiological cultures, used or discarded bags of blood/blood products, vaccines etc Blue: