Sen. Binay wants management plan for COVID-19 medical waste | Inquirer News

Sen. Binay wants management plan for COVID-19 medical waste

By: - Reporter / @zacariansINQ
/ 03:26 PM February 06, 2022
COVID-19 medical waste

(FILE) Hundreds of medical waste, such as syringes and blood sample tubes, are dumped at the shoreline of Barangay Concepcion in Virac, Catanduanes, on Jan. 24 and are believed to be cause of the COVID-19 infection of seven children who played with them. —PHOTO COURTESY OF ANTHONY ARCILLA

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Nancy Binay on Sunday called on the development of a comprehensive medical waste management plan, as well as an information drive for COVID-19 self-test kits, amid piling medical waste.

“It’s a good thing that these are already available, but we also need to be cautious of the health hazards and environmental impact because we can’t just treat these self-test kits as ordinary wastes,” said Binay in a statement.

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According to Binay, both the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Health (DOH) should come up with a comprehensive medical waste management plan as wastes generated at home from using these test kits may pose harm and risks both within and outside the household if not properly disposed of.

“Usually, without proper information and guidance, sa basurahan talaga ang bagsak ng mga ‘yan at ‘yung ibang garbage plastic bags iniiwan na lang sa kanto o bangketa (these wastes are thrown in garbage plastic bags left in trash and on the corner or sidewalk), and most likely scavengers and stray animals scatter and scramble over the contents,” said Binay.

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“Let’s be responsible because this is still an issue of public health,” she added.

Apart from a waste management plan, Binay also proposed that the DENR, DOH, local government units and pharmacies to start an information drive by handing out flyers or information materials to those who intend to use self-test kits.

“The handling and proper disposal of these test kits are crucial. We should be anticipatory. Good handling practices must be observed because if it gets out of hand, it can be an environmental and public health hazard,” Binay said.

This came just a few weeks after seven children in Catanduanes tested positive for COVID-19 on Jan. 24, after playing with medical waste which were illegally dumped and scattered at the shoreline of their village.

According to the DENR, an estimated 1,000 metric tons of health-care waste are collected daily.

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For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: COVID-19, COVID-19 test kits, medical waste, Nancy Binay, pandemic, self-test kits
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