There is a proper way to dispose of infectious Covid-19 waste, says PM

Face masks and ATK tests pose a risk to garbage handlers if they are not disposed of properly, says Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. Bags containing infectious waste should be clearly marked so binmen and waste disposal facility staff can take the necessary precautions when disposing of the rubbish, says the PM.

Waste contaminated with nasal mucus, sputum, saliva and blood from those infected with Covid-19 poses a risk of transmission to garbage handlers and must be disposed of properly to ensure public safety, according to PM Prayut.

The prime minister asked the Ministry of Health to inform Covid-19 patients undergoing home isolation to sort their rubbish and clearly mark bags of infectious waste which might contain ATK test kits, used face masks, tissues, bedding or anything else which could carry bodily fluids. Marking the bags properly will allow garbage handlers to take the necessary precautions such as wearing full PPE.

The PM has instructed responsible agencies to properly and efficiently dispose of waste which is possibly infected with Covid-19 while case numbers remain high across the nation.

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Attaphol Kaewsamrit, director-general of the Department of Health, expects Thailand will produce an average of 789 tonnes of infectious waste per day in April, while waste disposal facilities nationwide can only handle 342.3 tonnes daily.

The Department of Health is creating 11 additional waste disposal sites to handle the overload of infectious waste, with a capacity of 1,189 tonnes of waste per day. The total disposal capacity will rise to 1,532 tonnes per day, which should be enough to deal with the mountains of face masks and ATK test kits thrown out of Thai households this month.

SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand

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