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1 Feb 2022

WHO: Large Amounts of COVID Medical Waste a Hazard to Public Health

The Index Today

The World Health Organization on Tuesday said in a report that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to a buildup of an alarmingly large amount of medical waste spanning thousands of tons, which pose a grave threat to public health and the environment.

Hospital wastes including used syringes, vaccine bottles, and test kits could put health workers at a serious risk to contracting the coronavirus since it can subsist on surfaces. According to the United Nations, about 87,000 tons of personal protective equipment (PPE) has been delivered during the pandemic. However, a majority of it has supposedly ended up as waste.

The WHO also mentions in its report that an estimated 140 million test kits have been used and discarded, contributing about 2,600 tons of waste of which are largely plastic. Vaccines administered across the world account for about 144,000 tons of waste comprising, syringes, vials, needles, etc.

The World Health Organization has thereby urged the world to adopt proper waste management and reduction techniques to curb the rising amount of COVID-related waste on the planet.

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