Wastes from home-isolated Covid patients not collected?

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: There is no uniformity in collection of garbage from patients who are under home isolation, according to city residents. While some have their garbage promptly collected in yellow bags everyday, others have to wait for five to six days before the conservancy staff are sent to collect the waste and some of them don’t even get the yellow bags meant for biomedical waste. 

A resident of Royapuram (Zone 5), who had a Covid positive patient isolated at her home, said although the zonal officials sent conservancy staff to pick up the waste after repeated complaints were made to the tele-counselling centre, the waste was later disposed off at the roadside dustbin that was just in front of their house. 

“We took photos of the garbage lying in the dustbin including the PPE kits used by the patient and raised another complaint because the sanitary workers who clean the bins may get exposed to the virus. The persons who came to collect the waste too were not wearing any gloves,” said the resident, who did not want to be named. She said that they were neither given a yellow bag. 

The city corporation collected a total of 450.93 MT waste from patients in home isolation in the month of May; a huge leap from the 26.82 MT it collected in April, according to Corporation estimates available with Express. In this month, it had collected 76.79 MT till June 6. 

Corporation officials said that the standard protocol was for the waste to be collected in yellow bags from patients in home isolation everyday from their doorstep. Meanwhile, there are also some residents like Sidharth D, a resident of Ward 188, who said that the garbage was promptly collected everyday after he tested Covid positive. 

A resident of Nanganallur, on the other hand, said he had to call multiple times before the conservancy staff were sent to pick up waste from his house, five days into isolation. “I had to call up the volunteers repeatedly and after five days, it was arranged to be picked up,” he added. 

Corporation officials said that picking up waste from those in home isolation was being done everyday. “We get the list from the Corporation’s health department and collect waste from the doorsteps of those in home isolation,” said an official. 

The only reason that some cases might be missed is because the details of Covid-positive patients may not have been intimated to the city corporation from private labs but the issue has now been sorted out, said another corporation official.

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