ISLAMABAD                   -                The Environmental Protection Agency has strictly instructed all the hospitals of Pakistan dealing with coronavirus patients to en­sure proper disposal of COVID-19 waste.

The EPA has instructed all the hospitals to completely inciner­ate the waste caused by the treat­ment of Covid-19 patients. Instead of recycling, the hospitals are told to completely destroy the waste including plastic as a protective measure to stop the further spread of the coronavirus.

Pakistan Environmental Pro­tection Agency Director General Farzana Altaf, while talking to The Nation here yesterday, revealed that all the hospitals which are treating the patients of coronavi­rus in Pakistan have been instruct­ed to properly dispose of the wast­age caused by the treatment of COVID19 patients.

She marked that following the nature of this virus, it was must to ensure that the waste produced while treating the patients of Cov­id-19 is properly disposed and in­cinerated.

“The material which can be re­cycled and then reused is also in­structed needs to be destroyed completely by the hospitals so that chances of spread of this vi­rus could decrease”, said the DG EPA.

The EPA DG further revealed that all the district administrations were also coping up with the hospi­tals in incinerating the waste com­pletely from those hospitals.

Briefing about the disposal, she also said that the hospitals which were not having incinerators like the private labs were made in con­tact with the outside companies which are being watched closely by the authorities to ensure the prop­er disposal of waste.

Though most big hospitals in Pakistan have been incinerating bio-medical hospital waste, the fresh instructions are aimed at en­suring that the waste generated specifically during testing of people and treatment of covid-19 patients are disposed of in a scientific man­ner using the set of rules given to these specific hospitals.

This includes the disposal of every material that has contact­ed the patient of coronavirus, said the DG said.

Infectious medical waste contains potentially harmful micro-organ­isms that can infect patients, hospi­tal staff, and even the general pub­lic, which is why it is dangerous, she said. Examples of infectious medi­cal waste include body parts, blood and blood products, a patient’s bedding, or even a culture of an in­fectious agent.

Lately, the Pakistan Environmen­tal Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) has also instructed the Nation­al Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to ensure proper disposal of Covid-19 waste.