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Chủ Nhật, ngày 22/05/2022

MONRE proposes local authorities to strengthen the treatment of waste from the COVID-19 epidemic with the motto “fighting the epidemic is like fighting against the enemy”

28/10/2021

    The situation of the COVID-19 epidemic is being very complicated in many localities across the country. Accordingly, the amount of waste generated during the epidemic increased significantly, especially medical waste from hospitals, isolation areas, etc., putting pressure on local waste treatment systems. Facing this situation, in order to ensure the safety in the epidemic and environmental sanitation, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) promptly directed provinces and cities to urgently organize the implementation of plans for collection, transportation, storage and adjustment of methods of medical waste treatment to suit the situation of the COVID-19 epidemic in each locality. To find out about this issue, Vietnam Environment Admnistration Magazine (VEM) had an interview with Deputy Director General Vietnam Environment Admnistration (VEA) Nguyễn Thượng Hiền.


Mr. Nguyễn Thượng Hiền

Deputy Director General VEA
    VEM: Facing the increasingly complicated situation of the COVID-19 epidemic in many localities across the country, how did the MONRE and the VEA advise and direct to promptly treat the amount of waste generated in localities, especially in epidemic areas?

    Mr. Nguyễn Thượng Hiền: Following the direction of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and control and the conclusion of the Prime Minister, MONRE has coordinated with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and related agencies in completing report to the National Steering Committee to issue guiding documents on epidemic prevention and control, specifically on the management of medical waste and domestic waste from the COVID-19 epidemic in the following areas: workplaces, dormitories for workers, households, commercial centers, supermarkets, markets, restaurants, apartment buildings, and at funerals.

    Right from 2020, when the COVID-19 epidemic occurred, the MONRE coordinated with the MOHto issue technical guidelines related to epidemic prevention and control and infectious medical waste management at medical facilities. The Ministry also issued documents directing, recommending and urging local authorities to strengthen the inspection and investigation, guide the collection, transportation, storage and treatment of domestic solid waste especially infectious medical waste from medical facilities, centralized isolation facilities.

    Facing the situation of the COVID-19 epidemic caused by Delta mutations, the Ministry has continued to issue a number of documents guiding and recommending local authorities to increase collection and treatment of waste, especially medical waste. With the motto “fighting the epidemic is like fighting against the enemy”, in the guiding documents of the MONRE on the treatment of infectious medical waste, priority should be given to on-site treatment at medical facilities and clusters of centralized medical facilities in the localities that have medical waste treatment facilities and equipment in accordance with regulations, or at hazardous waste treatment facilities with the function of treating infectious medical waste, ensuring the shortest collection distance from the point of origin to the treatment facility. In case the local waste treatment facilities do not have sufficient capacity or do not have adequate infrastructure to treat medical waste from the COVID-19 epidemic, the provincial people's committee should actively contact other local authorities having medical waste treatment facilities to support.

    VEM: With the current spike in waste, please tell us about the current regulations to ensure safety in the treatment of waste from the COVID-19 epidemic at medical facilities, centralized isolation facilities?

    Mr. Nguyễn Thượng Hiền: Currently, medical waste generated by the COVID-19 epidemic from medical facilities treating COVID-19 patients, centralized isolation areas, home isolation and other isolation areas must ensure compliance with the provisions of Decision No. 3455/QĐ-BCĐQG promulgating “Guidelines for waste management and hygiene in the prevention and control of COVID-19 epidemic”. Also, waste from workplaces, dormitories for workers, households, commercial centers, supermarkets, markets, restaurants, apartment buildings, at funerals must be collected to ensure the requirements under the guidance of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and control and the MOH according to the above documents. In particular, medical waste must be collected, transported, and treated safely and ensured to comply with the provisions of Joint Circular No. 58/2015/TTLT-BYT-BTNMT dated 31st December 2015 of the MOH and the MONRE on medical waste management; Circular No. 36/2015/TT-BTNMT dated 30 May 2015 of MONRE on hazardous waste management and in accordance with relevant regulations.

Waste collection at the isolation area of ​​the Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City Dormitory

    In the documents of the MONRE, local authorities have been requested to adjust and organize the implementation of plans on collection, transportation, storage, and treatment of waste, especially for medical waste in accordance with regulations; strengthen inspection and supervision of the operation of environmental protection works for medical facilities, medical waste treatment facilities, domestic solid waste treatment facilities; disinfect wastewater after treatment at medical facilities, centralized isolation facilities, and infectious medical waste treatment facilities to ensure that no pathogens are released into the environment; direct medical facilities and centralized isolation areas to arrange collection and storage points for medical masks in accordance with regulations; instruct people to visit medical facilities for examination before leaving must dispose medical waste in storage devices to be treated in accordance with regulations to prevent the risk of spreading pathogens; strengthen inspection and supervision in order to promptly detect and prevent organizations and individuals from violations on waste management to ensure safety and prevent epidemics.

    VEM: Could you tell us about the solutions of the MONRE in the coming time to strengthen the management of waste from the COVID-19 epidemic?

    Mr. Nguyễn Thượng Hiền: To strengthen the management of waste from the COVID-19 epidemic, the MONRE will continue to request every cadre and civil servant to strictly implement the guiding documents of the Secretariat, the Government and the Prime Minister, National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and control, guidance of the MOH on epidemic prevention and control. Accordingly, the MONRE continues to coordinate with relevant agencies and local authorities to strengthen the treatment of waste from the COVID-19 epidemic to ensure environmental sanitation and epidemic prevention, including:

    First, coordinate with local authorities in developing plans for collection, transportation and treatment of medical waste and organizing the implementation and supervision of the classification, collection, transportation and treatment of medical waste from the COVID-19 epidemic in the localities to ensure epidemic prevention and environmental sanitation.

    Second, coordinate with the MOH and local authorities in the inspection, supervision, implementation of the collection, storage and transfer of waste from the Covid-19 epidemic at medical facilities, areas for patient treatment and care, isolation areas in accordance with regulations.

    Third, continue to direct and guide hazardous waste treatment facilities with medical waste treatment functions to enhance treatment of medical waste from the COVID-19 epidemic; continue to support the collection, transportation and treatment of medical waste from the COVID-19 epidemic in case other localities do not have sufficient capacity or do not have adequate infrastructure for waste treatment.

    VEM: Sincerely thanks the Deputy Director General!

Châu Loan

(Source: Vietnam Environment Administration Magazine, English Edition III - 2021)

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