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How Are We Regulating Medical Waste This Pandemic?

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To ensure proper management of medical wastes, there is a need for hospitals and medical institutions to follow the essential guidelines provided. However, with the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic, several changes are gradually being introduced in response to the issue. Several issues need to be adapted to address the problems regarding the virus.

Ways to Regulate Medical Wastes

Here are some measures being implemented to regulate medical wastes in health facilities at this time.

Segregation of Medical Waste
Due to the pandemic, there has been a massive increase in the use of protective equipment both in medical institutions and households. Thus, a huge amount of wastes are disposed of every day.

However, about 70 to 90% of the medical waste being produced in hospitals is non-hazardous. This implies that it has a lesser risk of infection. On the other hand, domestic wastes are observed to have a greater risk of hazard.
Hence, wastes need to be segregated so that hazardous wastes are not mixed with wastes that pose a lesser risk. Doing this can alleviate the amount of waste that needs to undergo further management.

1.    Use of Management Systems
With the existence of different variants of the virus, applying the necessary management plan is a must. Most healthcare facilities are using effective management systems that control further the spread of possible contamination.
2.    Waste Minimization
There is no doubt that the amount of medical wastes has greatly increased during the pandemic. Thus, minimizing the waste could a long way in the management of medical waste. One way that the healthcare sector is doing this is by fabrication of less toxic materials. This helps in minimizing the danger of these wastes.
3.    Recycling and Reuse
Producing materials that can be recycled can greatly help to regulate further exploitation of medical wastes. However, medical materials that are subject to recycling or reuse should ensure the safety of the users from the virus.  
4.    Employment of Technological Processes

Several technological processes can be used to effectively and safely decontaminate medical wastes. Some of these technological processes include:

•    Gas Sterilization

This is a waste management method that is done inside a container filled with air. It helps to sterilize gas substances like formaldehyde and ethylene oxide.

•    Irradiation

Irradiation is effective in killing microbes from medical wastes through cobalt sources. However, this method is expensive and is not frequently used.

•    Thermal Inactivation

This technological process works by setting up a chamber with a designated temperature enough to kill the microorganisms.

Regulating medical wastes is significant in helping reduce contamination in households and medical facilities.  With the increasing spread and impact of the coronavirus, proper regulation of medical wastes should be taken seriously.