Jakarta (ANTARA) - Deputy Speaker of the Regional Representative Council (DPD RI) Sultan B. Najamuddin has urged the government to develop a medical waste treatment system in view of the increasing utilization of medical equipment amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The increase in the utilization of medical equipment and materials among residents amidst the pandemic must be followed by prompt measures for anticipating medical waste contamination that will be dangerous for the environment and the people's health," he said in a written statement released in Jakarta on Saturday.

The deputy speaker highlighted that Indonesia's waste treatment technology is still lacking in many places due to the apparent absence of coordinated measures for preventing and reducing medical waste.

The country is also lacking a comprehensive medical waste management and disposal system that regulates proper waste collection and sorting of waste before further treatment, he added.

"The recent medical waste contamination in the Bali Sea unraveled the government's lack of a comprehensive medical, toxic, and hazardous waste control and treatment system," Najamuddin remarked.

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He urged the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to collaborate and devise a medical waste treatment and management technology to address the issue.

He also asked regional governments and local residents to actively take part in finding solutions and concrete initiatives for preventing environmental pollution, including reducing the medical waste produced during the COVID-19 pandemic that could be possibly toxic and dangerous for the environment.

"Residents' contributions and participation are key for maintaining a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment in Indonesia. All parties, particularly regional governments, must partake in developing awareness of environmental friendliness among the public," Najamuddin said.

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Translator: Fauzi, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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