Bengaluru Urban produces 15% of Karnataka’s Covid-19 biomedical waste | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: Karnataka has generated 135 tonnes of Covid-19 biomedical waste since March, of which 21 tonnes came from Bengaluru Urban alone, according to Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) data.
The Trauma Care Centre at Victoria Hospital in Bengaluru, a dedicated Covid-19 facility, produces 300-350kg of Covid-19 biomedical waste per day, which is handed over to Medicare Environmental Management Private Ltd. Dr Asima Bhanu, infection control officer at the centre, says over 250kg comes from Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits alone. Bengaluru Urban, a red zone, has 107 active cases as on May 16.
KSPCB identified 26 facilities in the state that are equipped to handle Covid-19 biomedical waste. They have dedicated vehicles, which pick up the waste from designated hospital and hotels. Donning PPEs, waste handlers disinfect the yellow bags before collecting them.
“These facilities treat regular biomedical waste too. But Covid-19 biomedical waste is treated separately as per protocol. We are equipped to handle 15-20 times the biomedical waste being generated at present, in case the situation worsens in future. The incinerators used for all types of biomedical waste are the same, but it’s not mixed,” said Vijayakumar Gogi, chairman, KSPCB.
“Data vary from day to day in every district, depending on the number of persons quarantined and Covid-19 cases,” said KSPCB officials.
However, according to Seshi Reddy, AGM (operations), Medicare Environmental Management Private Ltd, his firm collects about 1 tonne of Covid-19 waste from institutional quarantine centres like hotels, designated Covid hospitals, the Trauma Care Centre and fever clinics in Bengaluru.
“When we started collecting Covid-19 biomedical waste in March, the quantity wasn’t more than 200kg a day. But now, it has gone up to 1-2 tonnes. It largely comprises PPE kits and waste discarded by Covid-19 patients and quarantined individuals,” explained Reddy.
According to KSPCB, which monitors daily data in each district, belongings of deceased persons like pillows, bed and blankets are also found in Covid-19 biomedical waste on some days. “This is a strange thing we have observed in some districts,” said Gogi.
Box: Separate washing machine
The Trauma Care Centre has a separate washing machine and drier to clean clothes and blankets of Covid-19 patients. The clothes, including hospital uniform, are disinfected twice with chemicals before they are washed.
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Sagar Biswas

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