Health Care Waste Management in the context of COVID-19 Emergency(Interim Guidance) 2020
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    Introduction

    Nepal government has legislation, policy and guidelines for healthcare waste management (HCWM) in place for treatment and disposal of infectious waste from health care facilities. However, compliance of these guidelines was a challenge even before the COVID-19 pandemic, and now becoming more and more challenging to manage huge amount of infectious wastes. They have been generated from both health care and non-health care settings including quarantine centers, holding areas, designated hotels and households associated with suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients. Experience from some of the countries like China shows that the infectious medical waste in the hospital increased by 600 percent, while treating the COVID-19 cases .


    Currently in Nepal, only few hospitals have well established health care waste management system, where functional waste autoclaves are being used. In many health care facilities, the infectious waste is either mixed with municipal waste and is being sent to landfills as normal waste, or burned in open areas or disposed openly, posing serious environment and health risks to all including health care providers and general public. The COVID-19 further
    aggravated the situation on its management. This guideline has been specifically developed to address these merging issues and expected to be used by health care managers, HCWM/IPC committee members, HCWs, cleaners at the facility level. it is also relevant for the authority specially managing the waste in quarantine centers at national and sub-national levels.

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