The notice urged concerned government offices to take necessary measures within 72 hours. It also warned that lack of action may result in legal action against responsible parties
A legal notice has been served to the government to take necessary measures for medical waste management amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Supreme Court lawyer advocate JR Khan Robin sent the notice to concerned government offices, including secretary of health services and both of Dhaka’s city corporations on Tuesday via email.
The notice stated that protective equipment such as hand gloves and surgical masks are being disposed with general waste, increasing health risks.
It also said that due to lack of proper waste management, citizens and waste collectors are exposed to increased risk of infection from Covid-19 from the huge production of medical waste.
The notice urged concerned government offices to take necessary measures within 72 hours. It also warned that lack of action may result in legal action against responsible parties.
On May 10, the Dhaka Tribune published a report titled “Covid-19: 14,500 tons waste generated, waste collector halved in a month”.
The report stated that the maximum amount of waste was generated from used hand gloves - a total of 5,877 tons, of which 3,039 tons were from plastic gloves and the remaining 2, 838 tons from surgical gloves. Polythene shopping bags generated 5,796 tons of waste, 1,592 tons came from surgical masks, and used hand sanitizer containers contributed another 900 tons. Dhaka alone generated 3,076 tons of waste – 1,916 from gloves (1,314 from surgical gloves and 602 from polythene gloves), 447 from surgical masks, 443 from polythene shopping bag, and 270 from used hand sanitizer containers.
Around 40,000 informal waste collectors work across the country. During the lockdown, the number of operational waste collectors or waste management workers reduced by almost 50% in Dhaka. The ones who are working are at high risk of getting infected by Covid-19 as they work without adequate protection, the report also added.