Take care when you discard used PPE

Muscat: Extra precaution needs to be taken while removing and dumping the personal protective equipment (PPE) after use as this can pose a great health risk during the current corona pandemic, according to the Muscat Municipality.

Earlier, the Ministry of Health (MoH) had urged all medical professionals to ensure safe disposal of used PPEs by packing them in sealed bags and putting them in proper trash bins.

“While discarding the single-use gowns, hand gloves, shoe covers, plastic caps etc, civilians as well as medics need to apply extra caution as these ‘waste’ have chances of being infected,” a MoH personnel told the Observer.

Similarly, used gloves and masks are dominating at many places in the city and this is posing an environmental issue, according to the Muscat Municipality.

“Used plastic hand gloves and masks are seen randomly thrown here and there. People shouldn’t do that in view of the health and environmental issues by way of microplastic pollution,” a spokesperson at the Muscat Municipality said.

Both the MoH and the Muscat Municipality urged people to be careful in disposal of such items in order to contain the spread of Covid-19. “Once these items are randomly dumped into the environment, they break into microplastics after getting into sewer systems or water bodies.”

“These plastic wastes also attract pesticides and other harmful chemicals and when the marine animals eat them, they don’t just get the plastic, they get the chemicals too.”

Meanwhile, it is advisable to disinfect used clothes etc before putting them into the charity boxes otherwise these materials can be the carriers of virus.

“Used clothes, books and the like, once you discard make it a point to disinfect the whole bundle to avoid virus transmission to the recipient or the volunteer who collects them from the boxes,” representative of an NGO told the Observer.

There are hundreds of charity boxes that collect used clothes and other materials to generate funds for the needy.