Biomedical Waste Management During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Indian Scenario

Kudli, Lavanya Prashantkumar; Jaishankar, Sathyanarayan Sairam; Iyer, Ramajanaki Doraiswamy

Abstract

The global proliferation of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has resulted in a pandemic situation. As several nations struggle to nurse the rising number of patients to health, problems related to mismanagement of biomedical waste have surfaced in many countries. Although India was proactive in issuing a lockdown and formulating new guidelines for dealing with the waste, the failure at handling the situation is evident after just a few months since the spread of the virus. This paper discusses the pitfalls in India’s healthcare & biomedical waste management sectors such as inadequate treatment infrastructure and flouting of norms by healthcare institutions & the general public. The public health and environmental hazards of biomedical waste are also highlighted and existing treatment and disposal strategies are critiqued. Finally, incorporating the 3R’s principle for effectual waste management and adopting emerging methodologies for scientific disposal are suggested to alleviate the current dismal public health scenario in India.

Keyword(s)

Biomedical Waste; COVID-19; Disposal; Environment; Hazards; India; Public Health; Segregation

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