Minister outlines medical waste management plan amid pandemic

Minister outlines medical waste management plan amid pandemic

Documentation: A screenshot of Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, at an online press conference on the evaluation of Community Activity Restrictions (PPKM), on Monday night (August 2, 2021). (ANTARA/Presidential Secretariat Youtube channel/pri/uyu)

We will prepare incinerators to be placed in priority locations
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, has said immediate efforts will be made to manage medical hazardous and toxic (B3) waste generated amid the pandemic, in accordance with President Joko Widodo's instructions.

“We will prepare incinerators to be placed in priority locations – at the hospitals, health service centers, centralized isolation sites, as well as self-isolation facilities," he informed in a written statement released here on Wednesday.

Currently, 15 provinces do not have any B3 waste processing facility. Thus, waste has to be transported to the nearest province that has such a facility, he said.

The government will rope in cement factories in several regions to destroy medical B3 waste as cement kilns can reach temperatures above 1,200 degrees Celsius, he added.

Furthermore, there will be data synchronization on the amount of COVID-19 medical B3 waste generated as well as unprocessed waste, he informed.

Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar said that waste management has become very urgent since waste sources have increased significantly. Currently, waste is not only being generated by health centers, but also hotels, guesthouses, community isolation as well as self-quarantine sites, she pointed out.

Waste management comprises several stages -- collection, sorting, packaging, labelling, storage, transportation, and destruction, she added.

All the steps have to be carried out thoroughly to prevent waste from becoming a source of another disease or greater environmental damage, she said.

Meanwhile, head of the Financial and Development Supervisory Agency (BPKP), Muhammad Yusuf Ateh, assured that the agency will participate in monitoring the management of the medical B3 waste.

"We will monitor the process thoroughly -- from determining the demand of the facilities to the disbursement of the assets from ministries or agencies to local governments," he said.

Related news: Indonesia devises technology to recycle COVID-19 medical waste
Related news: Optimize state budget to dispose COVID-19 medical waste: President
Related news: BRIN developing mobile medical waste processor
 

Comments