Phenomenal Increase in Medical Waste Amid Second Covid Wave Poses Challenge For Surat

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The second wave of the pandemic has made the situation worse in Surat with a large number of people contracting the deadly Covid-19 virus. This has increased the use of medical equipment in the city which in turn has increased the production of medical waste as well. In comparison to last year, this increase is about 1400 percent. This has led to a situation where the incinerator has to be kept running for 24 hours a day. Even the Municipality does not have enough staff to keep the incinerator running all day round. In Surat city alone, there has been a 1400 percent rise in medical waste.

Last year, on average, 258 kilogram of medical waste was produced every day while in the last two and a half months, the average medical waste generation per day has been 3,369 kg which has forced the incinerator to run 24 hours. Medical waste is burnt at 1300 degrees in an incinerator. It is very important to safely dispose of medical waste to control the spread of the disease.

The Surat Municipal Corporation has an incinerator that can dispose of 6 tonnes of medical waste. But this is not enough as medical waste generation has increased manyfold. Even the Municipal Corporation does not have enough staff to keep the incinerator running for 24 hours. The head of the Solid Waste Management Department EH Pathan said that during the second wave of the Corona pandemic, medical waste generation has increased twofold and its management has become a huge challenge. But the staff, despite all the challenges, have faced the situation bravely.

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