United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) representative for India, Dr René Van Berkel, stressed upon the need of waste management to halt the spread of COVID-19, that will help to block all significant infection channels.
Berkel was speaking at a webinar on 'Managing bio-medical waste to ensure near-zero infections spread among waste management workers', organised by Communeeti, a non-profit organisation. He said that biomedical waste management practices and techniques have never been required more than this time.
UNIDO has been working on implementing environmentally friendly practices and techniques for medical waste, working with over 160 hospitals across Karnataka, Punjab, Odisha, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
"Since the onset of pandemic, it has been reported that project interventions have resulted in achieving near-zero COVID-19 infections among waste management workers in project hospitals. It was done through a multi-faceted approach that included strict segregation and containment of waste supported by instructional videos, professional training, development and roll-out of COVID-19 specific biomedical waste rules, identification and promotion of suppliers of waste management related goods and services," Dr Berkel as quoted by The Indian Express.
One of the cleanliness warriors from Varanasi, Temsutula Imsong, talked about her experience of cleaning the ghats of Varanasi through community participation and the vital role of hospitals in the handling of bio-medical waste.
Experts and representatives of hospitals working under the project and state pollution control boards were present in the webinar. Representatives from hospitals shared their experiences of managing bio-medical waste during the pandemic.