Clinical waste in hospitals has risen by about 35 per cent since the start of the pandemic it emerged on Saturday.
This waste includes masks, gloves and rapid test kits according to the data collected by the environment department from the three clinical waste management companies in Cyprus.
Director of the environment department, Costas Hadjipanayiotou, told the Cyprus News Agency that uncontrolled dumping of used gloves and masks on sidewalks and public areas has also been widely observed. He said such waste had risen 35 per cent in hospitals.
According to Hadjipanayiotou, there is a continuous upward trend in the production of this waste and instructions have already been given for more frequent collections.
The increasing amounts of potentially infectious clinical waste while waste collection facilities are limited has meant management units are carrying out more frequent collections.
“They are working extra hours, so that they can meet the requirements for medical waste management,” Hadjipanayiotou said.
According to Hadjipanayiotou, the separate collection of used gloves and masks is not mandatory unless otherwise specified by the recommendations of experts and the guidelines of the health ministry.
He said that the health ministry, with the help of experts, issues relevant instructions “with which we must all comply”. Such guidelines and protocols, he added, exist for waste management issues also within medical centres and hospitals.