In order to deal with COVID-19 pandemic, State and Central Governments have initiated various steps, which include setting up of quarantine centers /camps, Isolation wards, sample collection centers and laboratories.
Following specific guidelines for management of waste generated during diagnostics and treatment of COVID-19 suspected / confirmed patients, are required to be followed by all the stakeholders including isolation wards, quarantine centers, sample collection centers, laboratories, ULBs and common biomedical waste treatment and disposal facilities, in addition to existing practices under BMW Management Rules, 2016.
These guidelines are based on current knowledge on COVID-19 and existing practices in management of infectious waste generated in hospitals while treating viral and other contagious diseases like HIV, H1N1, etc. These guidelines will be updated if need arises. This Revision-1 of guidelines is done mainly to incorporate specific requirements and responsibilities of persons operating quarantine camps or caretakers of quarantine homes/home-care units and also the responsibilities of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) at sections (c) and (f) respectively. Specific provisions are also incorporated for States not having common CBWTFs and for allowing hazardous waste incinerators to dispose COVID-19 waste.
Guidelines brought out by WHO, MoH&FW, ICMR, CDC and other concerned agencies from time to time may also be referred.
Guidelines for handling, treatment and disposal of COVID-19 waste at Healthcare Facilities, Quarantine Camps/ Quarantine-homes/ Home-care, Sample Collection Centers, Laboratories, SPCBs/PCCs, ULBs and CBWTFs is give below;
(a) COVID-19 Isolation wards:
Healthcare Facilities having isolation wards for COVID-19 patients need to follow these steps to ensure safe handling and disposal of biomedical waste generated during treatment;
– Keep separate color coded bins/bags/containers in wards and maintain proper segregation of waste as per BMWM Rules, 2016 as amended and CPCB guidelines for implementation of BMW Management Rules. – As precaution double layered bags (using 2 bags) should be used for collection of waste from COVID-19 isolation wards so as to ensure adequate strength and no-leaks;
– Collect and store biomedical waste separately prior to handing over the same CBWTF. Use a dedicated collection bin labelled as “COVID-19” to store COVID-19 waste and keep separately in temporary storage room prior to handing over to authorize staff of CBWTF. Biomedical waste collected in such isolation wards can also be lifted directly from ward into CBWTF collection van.
– In addition to mandatory labelling, bags/containers used for collecting biomedical waste from COVID-19 wards, should be labelled as “COVID-19 Waste”. This marking would enable CBWTFs to identify the waste easily for priority treatment and disposal immediately upon the receipt.
– General waste not having contamination should be disposed as solid waste as per SWM Rules, 2016;
Maintain separate record of waste generated from COVID-19 isolation wards
– Use dedicated trolleys and collection bins in COVID-19 isolation wards. A label “COVID-19 Waste” to be pasted on these items also.
– The (inner and outer) surface of containers/bins/trolleys used for storage of COVID-19 waste should be disinfected with 1% sodium hypochlorite solution daily.
– Report opening or operation of COVID-19 ward and COVID ICU ward to SPCBs and respective CBWTF located in the area.
– Depute dedicated sanitation workers separately for biomedical waste and general solid waste so that waste can be collected and transferred timely to temporary waste storage area.
(b) Sample Collection Centers and Laboratories for COVID-19 suspected patients
Report opening or operation of COVID-19 sample collection centers and laboratories to concerned SPCB. Guidelines given at section (a) for isolation wards should be applied suitably in in case of test centers and laboratories also.
(c) Responsibilities of persons operating Quarantine Camps/Homes or Home-Care facilities*
Less quantity of biomedical waste is expected from quarantine Camps / Quarantine Home/ Homecare facilities. However, the persons responsible for operating quarantine camps/centers/home-care for suspected COVID-19 persons need to follow the below mentioned steps to ensure safe handling and disposal of waste;
– General solid waste (household waste) generated from quarantine centers or camps should be handed over to waste collector identified by Urban Local Bodies or as per the prevailing local method of disposing general solid waste. – Biomedical waste if any generated from quarantine centers/camps should be collected separately in yellow colored bags (suitable for biomedical waste collection) provided by ULBs. These bags can be placed in separate and dedicated dust-bins of appropriate size. – Persons operating Quarantine camps/centers should call the CBWTF operator to collect biomedical waste as and when it gets generated. Contact details of CBWTFs would be available with Local Authorities. – Persons taking care of quarantine home / Home-care should deposit biomedical waste if any generated from suspected or recovered COVID-19 patients, by following any of the following methods as may be arranged by ULBs; – Hand over the yellow bags containing biomedical waste to authorized waste collectors at door steps engaged by local bodies; or – Deposit biomedical waste in yellow bags at designated deposition Centers established by ULBs. The bag again be stored in yellow bag or container; or – Handover the biomedical waste to waste collector engaged by CBWTF operator at the doorstep.
Persons operating Quarantine camps/centers or Quarantine-homes/Home-care should report to ULBs in case of any difficulty in getting the services for disposal of solid waste or biomedical waste.