The Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) has finally tightened the noose against the private hospitals and other healthcare facilities for its failure in the proper disposal of COVID-19 waste and fined them. The government has issued guidelines for the proper disposal of clinical waste during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, hospitals are not following them.
On Sunday, MBMC’s Health Department team led by inspector-Anil Rathod levied fines of Rs. 5000 each to five private hospitals those were violating the norm in Mira Road.
There are Solid Waste Management Rules and Biomedical Waste Management and Handling Rules in force. However, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has also released a set of guidelines on the handling, segregation, packaging, storage. There has also guidelines on transportation, treatment and disposal of waste generated during treatment, diagnosis and quarantine of COVID-19 patients.
According to the guidelines, the hospital’s isolation wards have to use separate colour-coded polythene bins labelled it with ‘COVID-19’. Officials have formed dedicated teams to safely collect and transport the polluted waste. They transport in special trucks to the dumping yard and bury them scientifically into deep under the earth. Garbage lifters, sanitation workers and even rag pickers at dumping yards are at risk from handling unmarked medical waste. This could turn out to be potential sources for the spread of this highly contagious and deadly novel coronavirus.
“Complaint from the garbage collectors have received that hospitals are not following the disposal norms. The Health Department has issued notices to the errant medical institutions. However, as it becomes regular, we then fine them Rs 5000,” said an officer.
“Presently, around 18 private hospitals have tied up with the MBMC under the 80:20 pattern to facilitate COVID-19 treatment. Hospitals have mandated to keep a record of the waste generated in isolation wards,” sources said.