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Haphazard disposal of used masks creates Covid risk

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31st-Jul-2020       
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Reza Mahmud :
Wrong disposal of used masks are creating risks of Covid-19 spreading gravely.
The conscious people of Bangladesh wear face masks, hand gloves and other safety measures in outdoors to prevent themselves from infection of the Covid-19.
But most of them including coronavirus infected patients are disposing of their used masks and hand gloves incorrectly which are creating the risk of spreading of the virus seriously.
Mosammat Nadira Parvin, teacher of Department of Epidemiology of Bangladesh University of Health Sciences - BUHS said, "We frequently find that the people are disposing of used hand gloves and face masks here and there, as ordinary waste, which is a serious mistake. It can spread the fatal virus among the people."
She said that it should be disposed of properly as per the safety rules.  Public health experts said, there are enormous undetected Covid-19 patients as they have not symptoms.
A guidance of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of USA, estimates that 40 percent of people infected with Covid-19 are asymptomatic and the chance of transmission from people with no symptoms is 75 per cent.  
Those asymptomatic patients also throw their used masks, hand gloves and other personal protective equipment here and there, as ordinary people.  Such wrong disposal of protective equipment could risk spreading the infection they're designed to protect against, the experts warned.  
Talking with people it has been found that they are not having enough knowledge that how to safely dispose of single-use masks.
"How can I dispose of my used face masks, hand gloves and face shields properly?" Abdur Rahim, a currently recovered coronavirus infected person living in old Dhaka, questioned.
He said that use of cloth made face masks washing and drying in sunlight several times and finally disposed with household waste.
When contacted Professor Dr. M. Muzaherul Huq, former Advisor of World Health Organisation (WHO) said, "Use of protective products without disinfecting could increase infection and chances of more contamination."
He said, it should be properly disposed of as it is a medical waste and needs special disposal management with the medical waste management procedure.
Contacted, Dr. Ayesha Akhter, Assistant Director, Health Emergency Operation Center and Control Room, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said, "There are rules to collect and dispose of used materials of Covid patients in hospitals. All of those are collected and disposed of with other medical waste in scientific way. But about the rules individuals is the matter of city corporations."
One senior officials of Dhaka South City Corporation said preferring anonymity, they have no rule about it yet. After announcing Zone based lockdown further, they have to draft rules in this regards.

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