According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data, India has produced about 33,000 tonnes of COVID-19 biomedical waste in the last seven months, with Maharashtra contributing the maximum (3,587 tonnes) to it.
In October, over 5,500 tonnes of COVID-19 waste were produced nationwide—the highest for a month so far.
Since June 2020, all states and union territories have produced 32,994 tonnes of COVID-19-related biomedical waste, which is collected, processed, and disposed of by 198 common biomedical waste treatment facilities, according to data obtained from state pollution control boards (CBWTFs).
Biomedical waste from COVID-19 could include PPE kits, masks, shoe covers, gloves, human tissues, blood infected products, body fluids such as dressings, plaster casts, cotton swabs, blood or body fluid contaminated bedding, blood bags, needles, syringes, etc.
According to data, in seven months since June, Maharashtra produced 5,367 tonnes of COVID-19 waste, followed by Kerala (3,300 tonnes), Gujarat (3,086 tonnes), Tamil Nadu (2,806 tons), Uttar Pradesh (2,502 tonnes), Delhi (2,471 tonnes), West Bengal (2,095 tonnes) and Karnataka (2,095 tonnes) (2,026 tonnes).
In December, approximately 4,530 tonnes of such waste were produced, with Maharashtra contributing a maximum of 629 tonnes, followed by Kerala (542 tonnes) and Gujarat (479 tonnes).
According to data from the CPCB, Delhi produced 321 tonnes of COVID-19 bio-medical waste in December.
In November, about 4,864 tonnes of COVID-19 waste were produced, of which Maharashtra contributed 609 tonnes, Kerala contributed 600 tonnes, Gujarat 423 tonnes, and Delhi contributed 385 tonnes.
The country produced 5,597 tonnes of COVID-19 waste in October, the highest for the last seven months, with the top three contributors being Kerala (641), Gujarat (545), and Maharashtra (542).
5,490 tonnes of such waste was produced in September. The maximum contribution from Gujarat was 622 tonnes, followed, as per the details, by Tamil Nadu (543 tonnes), Maharashtra (524 tonnes), Uttar Pradesh (507 tonnes), and Kerala (494 tonnes).
In March last year, the CPCB released detailed guidelines for the management, treatment, and disposal of such waste in health facilities, quarantine centers, houses, sample collection centers, laboratories, pollution control boards, urban local authorities, and general biomedical waste treatment facilities (CBWTFs).
In this war against COVID-19 where the larger focus is on saving lives, managing biomedical waste is critical. Thus a strict protocol has to be followed by all the stakeholders for the safety of humans and the environment.
— MoEF&CC (@moefcc) August 31, 2020
In May, the apex pollution body created the mobile application ” COVID19BWM ” to track biomedical waste related to coronavirus and to compile the data via the electronic manifest system. COVID-19 waste is monitored by this application at the time of generation, collection, and disposal.
The Supreme Court made it mandatory in July last year for all urban local authorities and state pollution control boards to use a mobile regular biomedical waste monitoring application to ensure that the waste is collected, transported, and sent to the registered CBWTFs.
India’s COVID-19 caseload, as of Sunday, stands at 1,04,50,284 while the death toll is 1,50,999.