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Biomedical waste management and public health risks during COVID-19: Scenario of covid diagnosis laboratories

01, May 2021 |


Rahman M. S. Nandy S.


The unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19 has significantly increased the volume of biomedical waste while the number of waste management workers halved in the state of lockdown in Bangladesh. The improper management of biomedical waste might facilitate the spreading of COVID-19 as SARS-COV-2 could survive on these wastes for variable durations. In this article, we presented the impact of COVID-19 on biomedical waste generation and management in Bangladesh and the waste disposal practices in laboratories. We also presented the practice of waste management in two COVID testing laboratories in Bangladesh. About 109 laboratories are working on the detection of COVID-19 through Real-time Reverse Transcriptase PCR. In April 2020, at least 14,500 tons of medical wastes were produced throughout the country which was almost double the amount produced previously (7756.3 tons per month earlier). COVID testing laboratories used biohazard bags for disposing of wastes and autoclaved these waste-filled bags before releasing them from the laboratory. These bagged wastes are collected by the City Corporation (local city authority) workers for final disposal. However, proper management of excess volumes of biomedical waste requires multidisciplinary collaboration of different stakeholders including the government, hospital administration, laboratory workers, researchers, and policymakers.