WHO warns of COVID medical waste threat amid the ongoing Omicron surge

Amid the ongoing global surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the Omicron variant, the World Health Organisation has warned of COVID medical waste threat.

Iran Press/ Europe: The World Health Organization (WHO) warned Tuesday that the huge amount of medical waste produced as a result of tackling the COVID-19 pandemic poses a threat to human and environmental health.

In a new report, the United Nations health agency said waste syringes, used test kits and old vaccine bottles have all piled up to create thousands of tonnes of medical waste, putting a huge strain on healthcare waste management systems.

The extra waste is "threatening human and environmental health and exposing a dire need to improve waste management practices," the statement reads.

As countries tried to get personal protective equipment (PPE) to cope with the crisis, it appears not much attention is given to disposing off COVID-19 health care waste safely and sustainably, according to WHO.

The report looked at the 1.5 billion units – approximately 87,000 tons of PPE procured between March 2020 and November 2021 through the UN system. According to the report, most of the equipment ended up as waste.


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