Each day, we mask up and step out – hoping to return in peace, at a time the Coronavirus disease is claiming lives.
Using our masks and other protective equipment could however have serious consequences for the environment.
Multiple expert papers have confirmed such waste materials could be infectious.
For hospitals and other health centres, it is a rigorous and deliberate exercise to dispose off Covid-19 waste.
At home, it is a matter of doing it the way you want to, just like up and coming musician, Faxio.
“After wearing my mask for the day, I take it off and burn it,” he told 3news.com.
“The fire would burn any virus or germs attached to the mask.”
He added, ” when I wear the reusable one however, I wash it and use it again.”
For pensioner Bruno Oscar Bebli, he would rather just dump it in a trash can.
“I think I have heard that these masks must be destroyed after use. But I put them in the dustbin.”
Chances are these waste materials, described as infectious could expose persons who handle and collect them to the Coronavirus disease.
That is why we are being taught to do it right. Director of Public Health at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) Florence Kuukyi tells us how.
“Because these waste materials are infectious, disposing them off requires a lot of care.”
She says, “you have to soak the used mask in sanitizer, tie it in a poly bag and then trash it in the bin for further disposal.”
The other alternative she says, is to “soak the mask in chlorine solution of 0.05 concentration and then go ahead to wrap in a polybag and trash it.”
Here is the part I find ridiculous but health experts say it is a necessary evil.
” You can alternatively wash the mask before trashing it,” Madam Kuukyi said.
For those who resort to burning, the AMA Public Health Director says, open-air burning is not advised even though many people choose this option.
When next you see used face masks and other PPEs dotted along road shoulders, in trash bins and at landfills, know that somebody somewhere still needs to learn how to do it right.
By Komla Adom|3news.com|Ghana