CCID cleaning staff in Burg Street, Cape Town were seen wearing surgical masks and gloves while going about their cleaning duties. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)
CCID cleaning staff in Burg Street, Cape Town were seen wearing surgical masks and gloves while going about their cleaning duties. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Plea for households to safely dispose of coronavirus waste

By Sukaina Ishmail Time of article published Mar 19, 2020

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Cape Town - People quarantined and self-isolated are urged to take extra care with the disposal of their medical waste at home, while the hazardous medical waste from hospitals is also being well

managed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

According to Averda spokesperson Thashnee Budram, highly infectious waste is expected to be safely handled, and a vast amount of the medical equipment used for Covid-19 patients will come into contact with infected bodily fluids. Therefore, this material cannot be simply disposed of in the nearest dump.

“South Africa has an established hazardous waste management system that’s compliant with global standards and has had its competence tested by previous outbreaks of other viruses. Hospitals will consult with waste management experts like Averda to ensure that their internal safe operating

procedures are sufficiently up to date,” said Budram.

She said high-risk waste should be packaged in multiple layers of thick plastic and boxes and sterilised twice during the process. Assigned vehicles would transport the waste to one of eight hazardous-waste sites around the country.

Western Cape Health Department spokesperson Mark van der Heever said the masks of Covid-19 patients could

only be used once and were then

disposed of.

“Medical equipment is appropriately disinfected, while certain items are disposable. There are measures and protocols in place to safely dispose of medical waste.”

He said the public who were using masks should discard them into a closed bin and then wash their hands.

Budram said Averda was currently carrying out all the incineration for quarantine sites in the country.

@Sukainaish

[email protected]

Cape Argus

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