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Waste disposal firm calls for rubbish collectors to be vaccinated



PHOTO: Flickr/Bangkok Bloke 2018

The head of Prabkaya, one of Thailand’s largest waste disposal companies, says rubbish collectors must be vaccinated as a matter of priority. Theerawong Sanpipat says the workers regularly come into contact with potentially infected discarded items, such as face masks. According to a Bangkok Post report, he is demanding the workers be vaccinated and the public educated on how to separate waste items to prevent the spread of the virus. He adds that the workers should receive Pfizer or another mRNA vaccine as these are more effective.

Theerawong says rubbish collectors are exposed to high-risk items such as face masks, which should be safely disposed of in plastic bags, but this is not always the case. He adds that while bins should be provided for potentially infected waste items, such bins are not easy to find in public, leading to people disposing of masks alongside normal rubbish items.

He is calling on the government to supply vaccine doses, testing kits, and face masks to rubbish collectors, while urging the public to use separate bags to dispose of potentially infected items. The Bangkok Post reports that Theerawong wants red bags that have been specially designed for this purpose to be made available for free at convenience stores.

After a scrap metal worker in the north-eastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima contracted Covid-19 from a discarded plastic water bottle, the Department of Health has issued guidelines to rubbish collectors and scrap metal dealers. Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoen says workers should always wear gloves, protective clothing, and face masks while working.

While the virus is thought to be able to survive on surfaces and items for anything from a few hours to days, it’s believed this period is reduced in places like Thailand, due to the country’s hot climate and strong sunlight.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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