• Monday, Oct 18, 2021
  • Last Update : 08:37 pm

ED: Proper waste management is crucial to containing the spread

  • Published at 08:49 pm August 29th, 2020
Medical waste
File photo of a waste management worker Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

We could be looking at a health disaster on top of an existing one

Bangladesh is yet to successfully contain the spread of Covid-19, and the steady numbers of infections and deaths are proof of that. However, the least that we should be able to do is not make matters worse through the improper and careless handling of the medical waste being produced as a result.

Unfortunately, this is precisely what is happening, with the authorities concerned yet to demonstrate any particular success in safely handling and disposing of coronavirus-related medical waste.

This is an alarming failure on our part; experts have repeatedly warned from the beginning of the pandemic that the Covid-19 situation in the country might worsen if the safe disposal of medical waste related to the disease is not ensured and yet, many months in, we are yet to see any concrete actions to address this most pressing issue.

This medical waste is growing by the hundreds of tons on a daily basis in Dhaka alone, and beyond threatening increased transmission of Covid-19 itself, is also extremely hazardous to the environment and the eco-system at large.

Not only are those responsible for medical waste collection and disposal to blame, but the general population has not made things easier either -- sadly they are mixing domestic waste with medical waste, because they have been given no better system. 

This stems from a clear lack of knowledge on the dangers of doing so, and the onus once again falls on the authorities to have a clear system in place which people can follow.

In the end, however, having plans and laws in place will mean nothing without implementation, and if Bangladesh cannot stop this growing medical waste problem, we could be looking at a health disaster on top of an existing one.

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