India: 33,000 Tonnes Of COVID Waste Generated

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India generated around 33,000 tonnes of COVID-19 biomedical waste in the last seven months, according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data.

Over 5,500 tonnes of COVID-19 waste was generated across the country in October — the maximum for a month so far, while, Maharashtra contributed the maximum (3,587 tonnes) to it, PTI reported.

According to the data received from state pollution control boards, since June 2020, the PTI report said that all states and union territories have generated 32,994 tonnes of COVID-19-related biomedical waste which is being collected, treated and disposed of by 198 common biomedical waste treatment facilities (CBWTFs).

COVID-19 biomedical waste could include PPE kits, masks, shoe covers, gloves, human tissues, items contaminated with blood, body fluids like dressings, plaster casts, cotton swabs, beddings contaminated with blood or body fluid, blood bags, needles, syringes etc, it said.

According to the data, Maharashtra generated 5,367 tonnes of COVID-19 waste in seven months since June, followed by Kerala (3,300 tonnes), Gujarat (3,086 tonnes), Tamil Nadu (2,806 tonnes), Uttar Pradesh (2,502 tonnes), Delhi (2,471 tonnes), West Bengal (2,095 tonnes) and Karnataka (2,026 tonnes).

The apex pollution body had in May developed the ‘COVID19BWM’ mobile application to monitor coronavirus-related biomedical waste and to compile the data through electronic manifest system. This application tracks COVID-19 waste at the time of generation, collection and disposal. The Supreme Court made it mandatory for all for all urban local bodies and state pollution control boards to use the mobile application, the report added.

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