Medical waste generation rose 30-50 percent due to COVID-19 pandemic

Medical waste generation rose 30-50 percent due to COVID-19 pandemic

Director General of Waste and Hazardous Waste Management of the Environment and Forestry Ministry Rosa Vivien Ratnawati. ANTARA/screenshot/Prisca Triferna/sh

There is an increase in the volume of medical waste by 30 to 50 percent.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The volume of medical waste generated in Indonesia increased 30-50 percent to reach 1,662.75 tons, as of October 15, since the COVID-19 pandemic battered the country in early March, the Environment and Forestry Ministry stated.

"There is an increase in the volume of medical waste by 30 to 50 percent. Reports from 34 provinces in Indonesia have recorded 1,662.75 tons (of medical waste) as of October 15, 2020," the ministry's Director General of Waste and Hazardous Waste Management, Rosa Vivien Ratnawati, stated here on Friday.

Ratnawati cautioned that the fact should serve as a warning for the authority to give serious consideration to medical waste management during the pandemic that could be categorized as infectious waste and would require specific treatment from production to its destruction.

The ministry has issued a circular letter on the management of infectious and domestic waste from COVID-19 handling when the first coronavirus infection was reported in March.

Director General of Public Health of the Health Ministry Dr Kirana Pritasari emphasized that medical waste management would require support from all sectors, especially with its significant increase due to the pandemic.

The issues faced by the health authority comprised the gap between processing capacity and the stack of medical waste, lack of coordination among different institutions and the role of local governments, and the problem of funding.

"Increasing the processing capacity has yet to solve the problem without equal distribution (of the facility) across Indonesia. Medical waste processing can be accelerated if all related institutions and stakeholders worked jointly in accordance with their respective authority," Pritasari stated. Related news: Ministry stops activities of medical waste processing firm
Related news: Waste management can help create 120,000 jobs: Minister Pandjaitan


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