‘Covid-19 could generate an extra 1,000 tonnes of medical waste in Asian cities every day’

Manila is expected to produce the most Covid 19-related medical waste, followed by Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur, among the five cities surveyed by the Asian Development Bank

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Coronavirus could flood the streets of five large cities in South Asia with more than 1,000 extra tonnes of medical waste.

That’s according to a recent report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) which has compiled a list of recommendations to enable governments to respond to unprecedented challenges of the coronavirus outbreak.

It notes the cities should reschedule municipal solid waste collection frequency according to reduced workforce availability and reallocate available assets for infectious medical waste management.

The report also suggests recycling activities should be avoided to prevent human contact with any potentially infectious domestic and medical waste – all municipal waste should be treated as non-recyclable and disposed of through incineration or sanitary landfill.

For this reason landfill sites with informal waste picking will need increased management and security.

Based on the experience of China’s Hubei province, which saw a 600% surge from 40 tonnes per day to 240 tonnes during the outbreak, the ADB has estimated Manila, Jakarta, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Ha Noi could be dealing with a total of 1,016 tonnes more medical waste per day.

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