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Caution is key in disposing PPE

By Our Correspondent Updated: Jul 19, 2020 7:32 pm

Our Correspondent
Kohima, July 19 (EMN):
Across the globe, rise in coronavirus cases comes attached with a surge in bio-waste—presenting another form of challenge in the Covid-19 battle.

A doctor who is working at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) in Imphal has advised the proper discarding of personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves and masks, especially those used by people who are exposed to contaminated zones.

Their used mask and gloves should be discarded and burned separately from the other waste away from public reach, he said.

He also stated that even the clothes they wear should be disinfected and washed properly. He cited that in their Covid-19 hospital, the PPE are kept in separate bags after use and then burned in an incinerator.

The doctor shared that if PPE are not kept and disposed separately, the virus can spread through it. Therefore if anyone comes in contact with any infectious virus, their used equipments should be disposed separately from the other waste to prevent spread of the virus.

“To survive together in this pandemic, it should be disposed properly and handled carefully so that it is not exposed dangerously to the people around,” he stated.

Dr. Toska Sumi, senior specialist at District Hospital Dimapur, who is also in-charge of infection control in the Dimapur Covid-19 hospital, stated that PPE, like masks and gloves, should be disposed by burning or soaking in household bleach solution and discarded in closed bin, waste container for burning or deep burial.

The doctor also explained how PPE should be removed. He said that in order to remove masks, one should first lift the bottom strap, then the one at the top and take off the mask without touching the front surface.

To remove gloves, grasp the palm area (outer edge near the wrist) and peel off the glove; hold it in the opposite gloved hand, slide an ungloved finger under the wrist of the remaining glove, then peel it off from the inside.

Sumi further advised that people who come into close contact with positive cases should perform hand hygiene between steps, if hand becomes contaminated during removal of PPE, and immediately after removing it; and wash hands with soap or rub hands with sanitiser.

Single-use mask should not be reused and also avoid touching the mask while in use or pull the mask down or hang it from the neck, he added.

He further reminded citizens to observe good personal hygiene by washing hands with soaps or use sanitisers, maintain social distance and avoid large gatherings; cover mouth while coughing and sneezing, throw immediately used tissues into closed bin and use a mask or cloth to cover mouth and nose while visiting doctors.

Earlier, the Kohima Municipal Council had issued a circular notifying the public to keep their used PPE such as masks, gloves, etc. separately for safe disposal, and not to dispose any sort of used PPE in public places for the safety of all.

It informed that a separate pit has been arranged for such disposal, and therefore it appealed the citizens to dispose separately and handover to their respective sanitation vehicles or KMC vehicles for proper disposal at KMC dumping site.

By Our Correspondent Updated: Jul 19, 2020 7:32:05 pm