COMMENT | Collect household waste with dedicated system, prevent Covid-19

According to the Health Ministry, Malaysia recorded more than 9,354 cases and 128 deaths from Covid-19 as of Sept 1, 2020, at 12pm.

The total number of cases reported globally at the same time was around 25.3 million cases, and the total death toll has exceeded 848,000. The worldwide death rate due to Covid-19 is around 3.4 percent.

The spreading of Covid-19 is via human-to-human transmission, with an average basic reproductive rate (R0) of 2.2, meaning for each patient, 2.2 other individuals become infected.

In Malaysia, the daily generation of clinical waste in 2013 was 50 tonnes per day and 18,000 tonnes annually. Currently, it is estimated that the generation of biomedical waste is 90 tonnes per day or 33,000 tonnes annually, whereby about 75 to 80 percent is non-pathogenic waste.

Based on the 27 percent increase in the generation of biomedical waste during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is estimated that about 25 tonnes are Covid-19-based biomedical waste.

There are currently 144 government hospitals with 42,000 beds and 240 private hospitals with 16,000 beds which generate clinical waste daily. According to the Department of Environment (DOE) Malaysia, the amount of clinical waste produced in hospitals is about 20 to 40 percent as compared to general waste.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the increase in clinical waste generation could be from swabs, syringes, needles, sharps, blood or body fluid, excretions, mixed waste, laboratory waste, material, or equipment contaminated with the virus, masks, or disposable gloves, as well as personal protective equipment (PPE) that are used for screening and treatment of Covid-19 infected individuals…


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