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China to improve medical waste disposal capacity

Updated: Mar 10,2020 21:28    Xinhua

BEIJING — A recent official plan requires each prefecture-level city to build at least one standardized medical waste disposal facility by the end of this year, an official said on March 10.

By the end of June 2022, every county should have built a complete system involving the collection, transportation and disposal of medical waste, said Zhao Qunying, an official with the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), at a press conference.

The work plan was released by authorities including the National Health Commission and the MEE.

The treatment and disposal of medical waste and medical sewage in the country are orderly, with no environmental problems caused by the prevention and control of the novel coronavirus epidemic, Zhao said.

The country's disposal capacity of medical waste has jumped 23 percent from 4,902.8 metric tons per day on average before the epidemic to 6,022 tons per day, Zhao said.

The medical waste disposal facilities of the country are running at about 50 percent of their capacities on average, and the medical waste can be disposed of in a timely manner, he said.

Of the total, epidemic-related medical waste accounts for about 20 percent and can be disposed of on the day of generation, he said.

Waste generated by health care activities includes a broad range of materials, from used needles and syringes to soiled dressings, body parts, diagnostic samples, blood, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and radioactive materials, according to the World Health Organization.

There are still a few prefecture-level cities that don't have medical waste disposal facilities and have to seek the help of neighboring cities, according to Zhao.

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