The work for prevention and control of the epidemic has put massive pressure on handling medical waste. As of April 4, China's medical waste disposal capacity had reached 6,070 tons per day, up 23.9 percent from 4,902.8 tons per day before the outbreak, according to the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE).
Disposing medical waste correctly is important for containing the disease and consolidating the progress made so far because used materials could carry the virus and can cause infection unless disposed of in a safe way.
Local governments have adopted various approaches to improve the overloaded disposal system, such as buying more disposal equipment and working with other cities. On March 2, a work plan was issued by 10 authorities, such as MEE, the National Health Commission and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, to guide local authorities to optimize medical waste and sewage disposal. The plan asks each city to build a mechanism to collect, transfer and handle medical waste and sewage before June 2022. A coordinated mode between cities should be established to share information and increase efficiency. Related technologies should be used, for example, in waste sorting, information processing, recycling and disposal.
(This is an edited excerpt of an article originally published in People's Daily on April 13)