Last week we talked about the piles of medical waste to be disposed of in Wuhan, China, and how the outbreak revealed lack of preparation in the medical waste treatment system. According to media reports, at least six medical waste management companies have come to the rescue of Wuhan, offering mobile waste treatment stations and converting industrial waste disposal plants to treat medical waste.
Central China’s Hubei Province has realised complete disposal of its previous medical waste and wastewater, and achieved total treatment of newly-added waste within 24 hours, the provincial ecology and environment department said.
Lyu Wenyan, head of the department, said Hubei’s daily medical waste disposal capability has been improved to 667.4 tonnes from 180 tonnes before the COVID-19 outbreak, while that of Wuhan, the provincial capital, to the current 265.6 tonnes from the previous 50 tonnes.
Medical wastewater produced in designated hospitals and concentrated isolation sites across the province has been disinfected, and all the 132 urban sewage treatment plants are operating normally, Lyu said.
Li Ruiqin, deputy head of the department, said the amount of daily medical waste in Hubei jumped to 458 tonnes from the previous 136 tonnes, while in Wuhan from about 45 tonnes to 291 tonnes.
The department has mobilised idle facilities and transformed abandoned kilns across the province to assist disposing of medical waste from Wuhan, Li added.
Surveys of drinking water sources showed that “the water quality is not affected,” according to Lyu.