A worker pushes a trolley full of infectious medical waste in Tongji Hospital of Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak on February 18. (Photo: GT)
With coronavirus ravaging Wuhan, bioharzardous waste has doubled in the city, posing a challenge on how to deal with these potentially infectious medical waste.
Since the epidemic broke out, Wuhan has experienced a surge of its medical waste with many hospitals' storage facilities filled to the brim.
Tongji Hospital in Wuhan has designated an open-air region as a temporary place to store infectious medical waste for the hospital.
Workers are often exposed to contaminated material, such as used protective suits, masks, gloves, instruments and even the vomit. They work about 12 hours a day.
Due to the huge amount of medical waste in Wuhan, garbage disposal teams from many other cities and provinces have arrived to offer a hand in the fight against the epidemic.
The Hubei Zhongyou Youyi Environmental Protection Technology from Xiangyang city has dispatched 92 professional personnel and 35 transfer vehicles to Wuhan for medical waste disposal, the Global Times learned.
On February 19, Wuhan disposed 109 tons of medical waste, double the amount before the epidemic, according to Shanghai-based news website thepaper.cn.
According to Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) guidelines, all the provincial regions must collect, transfer and dispose medical waste and water quickly and effectively.
Since the epidemic, 358 cities in Chinese mainland have been disposing bioharzadous waste on a daily basis, according to a statement the MEE sent to the Global Times on February 13. From January 20 to February 13, Wuhan handled 1,123.8 tons of medical waste.
In the past weeks, the MEE has published several notices, covering environmental management on medical waste, monitoring of medical waste water, monitoring of environmental emergencies, and monitoring of security of radiative facilities for medical use.
A Saturday statement from the MEE shows that quality of the air, surface water and drinking water have been in stable condition. Ecological and environmental equality have not been affected by the epidemic.