The Covid-19 epidemic is becoming a global concern when there is no vaccine to treat it. In addition to the fear of epidemics, hospitals and medical facilities around the world also face many risks and challenges when they need to handle a large amount of infectious medical waste in the community. Before the developments of the Covid-19 epidemic, how must medical waste be handled to ensure safety?
Guidelines and procedures for medical waste treatment during the COVID-19 epidemic
The instructions for the collection of medical waste such as masks, protective clothing, etc., are specific as follows: Waste generated from areas of monitoring, isolation, care and treatment of people infected or suspected of having Covid-19 classified at the source and put in an infectious container with a lid according to regulations; Before collecting, the waste bag must be sealed with the mouth of the bag and continue to be placed in the second infectious waste bag, sealed the bag, collected in the infectious waste container according to regulations and brought to the storage area. keep waste concentrated in medical premises at least 2 times/day.
After that, the waste is treated on-site or transported to another medical treatment facility in the cluster of medical facilities or transferred to a medical waste treatment unit according to regulations, ensuring the process of waste treatment. transport without spillage or leakage to the place of treatment and the treatment must meet national technical regulations on environment; in which infectious medical waste must be transported and treated within the same day.
For liquid wastewater, it must be thoroughly treated with disinfectant chemicals and then collected into a centralized wastewater treatment system for treatment to meet the national technical regulations on environment, especially paying attention to the Disinfection of medical wastewater after treatment before being discharged into the environment.
Principles of treatment and collection for medical waste arising from medical facilities and isolation areas.
Infectious medical wastes arising from medical facilities and isolation areas (such as masks, protective clothing, medical gloves, etc., discarded after use) must be collected and stored. kept, transported and treated according to strict procedures and regulations (contained in specialized packaging, collected separately from other types of waste, transported by specialized means and treated according to procedures to ensure national technical regulations on environment).
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment also suggested that the People’s Committees of provinces and cities direct medical facilities and concentrated isolation areas to arrange collection and storage points for medical masks in accordance with regulations; guide people to medical facilities to visit and examine before leaving, to dispose of medical waste in storage devices, treat it in accordance with regulations, ensure that the waste must be treated safely to meet the requirements on environmental protection, contributing to the prevention and control of the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic.
Requirements and regulations on infection prevention for waste collectors
Employees must equip and use personal protective equipment (clothes, hats, boots, gloves, masks, …) to protect occupational health and safety.
For staff collecting and treating infectious medical waste, Official Letter No. 1878/BTNMT-TCMT, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has requested the People’s Committees of the provinces and centrally run cities to direct the Local specialized agencies shall ensure funds for procurement of protective equipment and supplies for officials performing the classification, collection and storage of medical waste in medical facilities and areas. concentrated isolation to prevent and control the Covid-19 epidemic.
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