The department has been monitoring the growing amount of infectious waste from two target groups – Covid-19 patients and people in quarantine – since the outbreak began.
The outbreak has led to an increase in the amount of infectious items in the medical system, said the department’s Director-General Dr Panpimol Wipulakorn, as she addressed the environmental health impacts of the Covid-19 crisis on Monday (April 13).
Each coronavirus patient generates about 2.85 kilograms of infectious waste per bed per day, she added. This places an extra burden on the authorities tasked with safely disposing of the waste.
Thailand currently generates about 145.57 tonnes of infectious waste per day – 40 percent of the total safe-disposal capacity of 211 tonnes per day, said Panpimol. The country is therefore still able to safely dispose of waste generated by Covid-19 patients, she added. Crucial in this process was transportation of the hazardous waste from its source in hospitals to incinerators, which was being monitored and managed by hospital IT systems.
Panpimol said that infectious waste from 78 hospitals nationwide is being disposed of at 15 waste incinerators around the country, 11 of them run by the government and four operated by the private sector.