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Infectious Household Waste Becoming a Growing Concern in Thailand

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infectious household waste

Thailand’s Health Department has warned that infectious household waste has increased throughout Thailand over the past month, due to a continual surge in COVID-19 infections.

The Health Department warned that the upward trend of infectious household waste is expected to continue due to the practice of “home isolation” whereby asymptomatic and mild cases as well as those awaiting hospital beds, are asked to stay home with remote supervision by medical personnel, and especially with the antigen test kits now allowed for home use.

The department’s director-general, Dr. Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai, said today (Friday) that there were 31,709.86 tonnes of infectious garbage generated between January and June this year. In June, an average of 210 tonnes of infectious waste was recorded on daily basis, due to more infected people entering home or community isolation.

Infectious household waste includes used face masks, used sanitary product, disposable food containers and antigen test kits. Proper and safe disposal of these items is urged, to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19.

In communities, where there is a proper system for the disposal of infectious garbage, Dr. Suwanchai said it should be collected every day and put in a red bag, tied up when it is full and sprayed with disinfectant, such as sodium hypochlorite 5,000 ppm, bleach mixed in water at a proportion of 1:10 or 70% alcohol. Then put the bag into another bag, tie it and spray with disinfectant again.

The same approach can be applied in communities where there is no proper system for the collection and disposal of infectious garbage.

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