China's Gansu efficiently handles daily COVID-19 medical waste

Updated: Oct 27, 2021 Xinhua Print
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LANZHOU -- The 18 centralized medical waste management institutions in Northwest China's Gansu province are capable of collecting and disposing of COVID-19 medical waste generated every day in time during the fresh outbreak, local authorities said Tuesday.

As of Monday, the province had logged 51 confirmed cases starting from Oct. 18 when new cases began emerging. The provincial capital Lanzhou has initiated its third round of mass nucleic acid testing to contain the latest outbreak.

Since Oct. 19, the provincial hazardous waste disposal center, which is responsible for the transport and disposal of medical waste in Lanzhou, has collected and disposed of approximately 1.71 million tonnes of medical waste, including more than 466,000 tonnes of COVID-19 medical waste.

"We collect medical waste from places such as medical institutions, nucleic acid testing sites, centralized quarantine sites and communities under quarantine. A total of 20 vehicles have been put into operation, and 200,000 medical waste packing bags and 8,000 turnover boxes have been urgently purchased for disease prevention and control," said He Quanming, who is in charge of the center.

The collected waste is disinfected and then incinerated. During the disposal process, staff wear hazmat suits and goggles and take routine nucleic acid testing on a daily basis, He added.

The medical waste collection and disposal units are scattered in 14 city-level locations in Gansu, with an overall capacity of handling more than 100 tonnes of medical waste daily, according to the provincial ecology and environment department.

Besides, the province's sewage treatment facilities have been functioning smoothly and the medical sewage is disinfected before being discharged into the urban sewage collection network, said the department.

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