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Country’s clinical waste increases by 17% since Covid-19

26 Mar 2020 / 21:59 H.

PUTRAJAYA: Clinical waste at various medical facilities has increased by 17% since early February, in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, said Environment Minister Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man (pix).

He said the Department of Environment (DOE) had a comprehensive clinical waste management system (SW404 scheduled waste) in which all clinical waste is separated first at hospitals and clinics, before being collected and transported by special vehicles for disposal in 12 incinerators nationwide.

At the moment, Tuan Ibrahim said, seven companies were licensed by the DOE to manage clinical waste from medical facilities (hospitals, clinics and medical institutions) - this comprises the collection, transportation, treatment and disposal of such waste.

“Clinical waste management is controlled to ensure the waste is properly managed and does not cause harm to public health,” he said in a statement, here today.

Tuan Ibrahim said all treatment and disposal facilities of the seven companies were licensed under section 18 of the Environmental Quality Act 1974 and were subject to strict conditions stipulated in the DOE licence compliance schedule.

The companies are Radicare Sdn Bhd, Edgenta Mediserve Sdn Bhd, Medivest Sdn Bhd, Sedafiat Sdn Bhd and One Medicare Sdn Bhd, which are concessionaires appointed by the government through the Health Ministry to manage clinical waste from public medical facilities, while Kualiti Alam Sdn Bhd and Future NRG Sdn Bhd manage all clinical waste from private hospitals and clinics.

“Treatment and disposal facilities are essential services that are allowed to operate during the imposition of the Movement Control Order,” he explained, adding that the illegal management and disposal of scheduled waste including clinical waste without a licence, was an offence under Section 34B of the Environmental Quality Act, which carries a penalty of a maximum of five years in jail and a fine of not more than RM500,000. - Bernama

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