NEW DELHI: The management of waste from COVID-19 isolation wards and quarantine camps is now part of "essential services".
In view of the coronavirus pandemic, the central pollution watchdog CPCB has included the services of common biomedical waste treatment and disposal facilities (CBWTF) associated with management of waste from COVID-19 isolation wards and quarantine camps under "essential services".
"CPCB has received some references regarding difficulties in the operation of handling bio-medical wastes," the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said.
"It is, therefore, advised that services of Common Biomedical Waste Treatment and Disposal Facilities (CBWTF) and staff associated with CBWTFs for collection, transportation, treatment and disposal of biomedical waste generated from hospitals including COVID-19 isolation wards, quarantine camps etc. maybe considered an essential service as part of health infrastructure," it said in a notification, adding that necessary action be ensured to facilitate smooth operations of CBWTFs.
Earlier, the pollution control body had issued guidelines for disposal of COVID-19 waste, asking all healthcare centres to keep separate colour-coded bins or containers in wards and maintain proper segregation of waste as per Bio-medical Waste Management Rules, 2016 as amended, and CPCB guidelines for implementation of BMW Management Rules.
The CPCB had said that the biomedical waste, if any, generated from quarantine centres/camps, should be collected separately in yellow coloured bags and bins.
In addition to mandatory labelling, bags/containers used for collecting biomedical waste from COVID-19 wards, should be labeled as "COVID-19 Waste", the guidelines said, as the marking would enable of Common Biomedical Waste Treatment Facility (CBWTF) to identify the waste easily for priority treatment and disposal immediately upon the receipt, it had said.