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Rashmi Ranjan

Bhubaneswar: At a time when there seems to be no respite from Covid-19 surge, the alleged mismanagement of biomedical wastes has posed additional challenges before the State triggering fears of further contamination of the fatal virus.

The mismanagement in collection and disposal of biomedical waste like masks, gloves, face shields and PPE kits has not only doubled the trouble for the government but also exposed it’s preparedness in dealing with mountains of such wastes dumped here and there.

In a glaring example of such mismanagement, a mentally challenged woman was seen roaming around wearing a used PPE kit at Luhagudi chhak under Mohana police station in Gajapati district. Later, the woman was saved by a medical team.

Not just Mohana, even the State capital is no exception. May it be the Biju Patnaik International Airport, railway station or crematorium sites, scenes of used PPE kits, masks and globes dumped all over has become a common sight. 

Expressing displeasure over the alleged mismanagement of Covid bio-medical waste, a resident of Bhubaneswar said, “Used PPE kits, masks and gloves lay sprinkled around the Satyanagar cremation site. This increases possibilities of the further spread of the virus.” 

Following the second round surge of the pandemic the amount of biomedical waste has increased 15-20 times. If these wastes are not managed properly there are possibilities of further contamination of the virus, said Capital Hospital director Dr Laxmidhar Sahoo.

“The amount of biomedical waste has increased due to the present pandemic situation. If these are not disposed properly then chances of virus spread cannot be ruled out,” Dr Sahoo added.

As per the rules framed by the Odisha State Pollution Control Board, the biomedical wastes need to be disposed in covered dustbins. So directions have been given to all municipal corporations to install covered dustbins under their jurisdiction.

“The PPE kits should be disposed off properly by medical professional. We have been urging people to dump their used masks and gloves in a separate dustbin,” said Dr K. Murugesan, Member Secretary of the State Pollution Control Board.

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