India generated 18,006 tonnes of COVID-19 biomedical waste in the last four months, according to recent data released by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The data also shows that Maharashtra contributed the maximum with 3,587 tonnes of bio-medical waste.
COVID-19 biomedical waste includes PPE kits, masks, shoe covers, gloves, items contaminated with blood, body fluids like dressings, cotton swabs, beddings contaminated with blood or body fluid, blood bags, needles etc.
Nearly 5,500 tonnes of COVID-19 waste was generated across India in September, which is the maximum for a month till now.
According to the data released by the apex pollution control body, all the bio-medical waste generated by states and Union Territories since June is being collected, treated and disposed of by 198 common biomedical waste treatment facilities (CBWTFs).
As per the CPCB data, Maharashtra, which is the worst affected state by the novel coronavirus, generated 3,587 tonnes of COVID-19 waste in four months, of which 524 tonnes was released in June, 1,180 tonnes in July, 1,359 tonnes in August and 524 tonnes in September.
Tamil Nadu generated 1,737 tonnes of Covid-19 waste, Gujarat (1,638 tonnes), Kerala (1,516 tonnes), Uttar Pradesh (1,432 tonnes), Delhi (1,400 tonnes), Karnataka (1,380 tonnes) and West Bengal (1,000 tonnes).
The national capital generated 333 tonnes of bio-medical waste in June, 389 tonnes in July, 296 tonnes in August and 382 tonnes in September.
The data found that around 5,490 tonnes of COVID-19 waste was generated in September, with Gujarat contributing the maximum 622 tonnes, followed by Tamil Nadu (543 tonnes), Maharashtra (524 tonnes), Uttar Pradesh (507 tonnes), Kerala (494 tonnes), and others.
Around 5,240 tonnes of COVID-19 waste was released in August, of which 1,359 tonnes was in Maharashtra, and 588 tonnes each in Kerala and Karnataka, followed by others.
In July, the country generated 4,253 tonnes of COVID-19 waste, with Maharashtra (1,180), Karnataka (540) and Tamil Nadu (401) being the top three contributors.
India generated 3,025 tonnes of COVID-19 waste in June, with Maharashtra alone contributing 524 tonnes, followed by Gujarat (350 tonnes), Delhi (333 tonnes) and Tamil Nadu (312 tonnes)
In March, the CPCB had released specific guidelines for handling, treatment and disposal of such waste at healthcare facilities, quarantine centres, homes, sample collection centers, laboratories, pollution control boards, urban local bodies and common biomedical waste treatment facilities (CBWTFs).
The pollution body had also developed the "COVID19BWM" mobile application to monitor coronavirus-related biomedical waste and to collect data through electronic manifest system. The application tracks COVID-19 waste at the time of generation, collection and disposal.