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UNIDO Representative in India Rene Van Berkel also said that avoiding virus spread is possible with proven biomedical waste management practices and techniques. Unsplash

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) on Tuesday stressed the need to halt the spread of COVID-19 through all possible infection channels, including from contact with or mismanagement of infectious waste.

UNIDO Representative in India Rene Van Berkel also said that this is possible with proven biomedical waste management practices and techniques, and never before has it been so urgent to adopt these.


He was speaking at a webinar on “Managing bio-medical waste to ensure near-zero infections spread among waste management workers” organized by Community, a non-profit organization working on community-centric policymaking, in partnership with the Ramaiah Medical College and supported by UNIDO-India.

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UNIDO has been working to develop and implement environmentally sound practices and techniques for medical waste with 160 plus hospitals across the states of Karnataka, Punjab, Odisha, Maharashtra, and Gujarat.

Since the onset of Covid-19, it has been reported that project interventions have resulted in achieving near-zero Covid-19 infections among waste management workers in project hospitals.


Improper handling of biomedical wastes from hospitals adds to the spread of COVID-19, and hence safe handling and final disposal of this waste is therefore a vital element. Pixabay

This was done through a multi-faceted approach which included strict segregation and containment of waste supported by instructional videos, professional training, development, and roll-out of Covid-19 specific biomedical waste rules, identification, and promotion of suppliers of waste management related goods and services.

At the webinar, Temsutula Imsong, the cleanliness warrior of Varanasi, talked about her experience of cleaning the ghats of Varanasi through community participation and how hospitals have to play an important role in the efficient handling of bio-medical waste.

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The webinar witnessed a panel discussion with experts from the sector, including representatives of the hospitals working under this project and from State Pollution Control Boards.

Biomedical waste is a threat to global public and environmental health. Worldwide, it is estimated that at least 5.2 million people, including 4 million children, die each year because of diseases related to unmanaged medical waste.

Considering the Covid-19 pandemic, the surge in infectious waste from healthcare facilities as well as residential and other sectors has become a new major threat to public health and the environment.

Also Read: Proper Ventilation Key Factor to Prevent COVID Spread

Improper handling of biomedical wastes from hospitals adds to the spread of Covid-19, and hence safe handling and final disposal of this waste is therefore a vital element in an effective emergency response to the pandemic. (IANS)


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Rihanna was summoned from her seat to accept the honour, with the Prime Minister.

Singer Rihanna was honoured by Prime Minister Mia Mottley at an event which marked Barbados's new status as a republic, which was attended by Prince Charles. Addressing the pop star by her real name, the PM said: "Robyn Rihanna Fenty tomorrow morning shall have conferred upon her the order of national hero of Barbados."

Rihanna was then summoned from her seat to accept the honor, with the Prime Minister managing to rouse a laugh from the singer when she referenced her 2012 hit 'Diamonds', reports femalefirst.co.uk. She added: "On behalf of a grateful nation, but an even prouder people, we therefore present to you, the designee, for the national hero of Barbados." "And to accept on behalf of a grateful nation - you can come my dear - ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty, may you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honor to your nation." Rihanna, who was born in the St Michael parish of Barbados, found fame in 2005 after being spotted by a record producer and has since gone on to become one of the most successful female artists of all time with sales of over 250 million and recently reached billionaire status through her Fenty beauty brand.

The Prime Minister continued in her speech: "Commanding the imagination of the world through the pursuit of excellence, her creativity, her discipline, and above all else, her extraordinary commitment to the land of her birth. "Having satisfied that, Ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty has given service to Barbados which has been exemplified by visionary and pioneering leadership, extraordinary achievement and the attaining of the highest excellence to the Government of Barbados." It comes after a historic move for Barbados, which has become a republic after almost 400 years and welcomes its first president, Sandra Mason, after removing Queen Elizabeth as head of state. (IANS/ MBI)


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