The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has come out with Revised Guidelines for Handling,Treatment and Disposal of Waste Generated during Treatment/Diagnosis/ Quarantine of COVID-19 Patients.
The guidelines issued on April 19, states that following specific guidelines for management of waste generated during diagnostics and treatment of COVID-19 suspected/confirmed patients, are required to be followed by all the stakeholders including isolation wards, quarantine centers, sample collection centers, laboratories, ULBs and common biomedical waste treatment and disposal facilities, in addition to existing practices under BMW Management Rules, 2016.
The circular clarifies that "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. These guidelines will be updated if need arises. This Revision-2 of guidelines is mainly to incorporate specific requirements and responsibilities of persons operating sewage treatment plants at Healthcare Facilities and to clarify on management of general waste from quarantine homes and masks/gloves from other households.
Steps to be followed by COVID-19, Isolation wards:
Keep separate color coded bins/bags/containers in 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 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 CBWTF. Use a dedicated collection bin labelled as "COVID-19" to store COVID-19 waste and keep separately in a temporary storage room prior to handing over to authorized staff of CBWTF. Biomedical waste collected in such isolation wards can also be lifted directly from the ward into the CBWTF collection van.
In addition to mandatory labelling, bags/containers used for collecting biomedical waste from COVID-19 wards should be labelled as "COVID-19 Waste". This marking would enable CBWTFs to identify the waste easily for priority treatment and disposal immediately upon the receipt.
General waste not having contamination should be disposed of as solid waste as per SWM Rules, 2016. 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% sodium hypochlorite solution daily.
Report opening or operation of COVID-19 ward and COVID ICU ward to SPCBs and respective CBWTF located in the area. Feces from COVID-19 confirmed patients, who are unable to use toilets and excreta is collected in diapers, must be treated as biomedical waste and should be placed in a yellow bag/container. However, if a bedpan is used, then faeces to be washed into toilet and cleaned with a neutral detergent and water, disinfected with a 0.5% chlorine solution, then rinsed with clean water.
Responsibilities of persons operating Quarantine Camps/Homes or Home-Care facilities*
General solid waste (household waste) generated from quarantine centers or camps should be handed over to the waste collector identified by Urban Local Bodies or as per the prevailing local method of disposing general solid waste.
Biomedical waste if any generated from quarantine centers/camps should be collected separately in yellow colored bags (suitable for biomedical waste collection) provided by ULBs. These bags can be placed in separate and dedicated dust-bins of appropriate size. Persons operating Quarantine camps/centers should call the CBWTF operator to collect biomedical waste as and when it gets generated.
Duties of SPCBs/PCCs
Shall maintain records of COVID-19 treatment wards / quarantine centers / quarantines homes in respective States. Ensure proper collection and disposal of biomedical waste as per BMW Rules, 2016 and SoPS given in this guidance document; Allow CBWTFs to operate for extra hours as per requirement. May not insist on authorisation of quarantine camps as such facilities does not qualify as health facilities. However, may allow CBWTFs to collect biomedical waste as and when required.
It is also clarified that Biomedical waste generated from Quarantine Camps Quarantine-Home / Home-care would be treated as 'domestic hazardous waste' as defined under Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, and shall be disposed of as per provisions under Biomedical Waste Management Rules, 2016 and these guidelines.
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.
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