Nucleic acid detection threatens ecology? Ministry of Ecology and Environment responded
2022-06-23: [Article Link] Source: Global Times-Global Network.
Foreign media sources have recently reported that China's large-scale nucleic acid tests “are causing an ecological crisis” — the generation of large quantities of medical waste, including cotton stamps, and the risk of “inappropriate disposal” could pose a “threat” to the environment and the health of the population. In an exclusive response to the Global Times journalist'enquiry on this issue, the press spokesman for the Ministry of Ecology and Environment stated that the country's capacity for routine and emergency disposal of medical waste could well meet the need for treatment of medical waste, including nucleic acid detection waste. “Defence workers wearing protective clothing punctured millions of people's throats with plastic cotton on a daily basis, resulting in garbage cans full of medical waste, which has become a new burden on the environment and the economy as a result of the “dynamic zero” approach. Agence France-Presse reported that the daily amount of medical waste caused by the Covid-19 epidemic is almost unprecedented in human history, and that large-scale tests for chemical nucleic acid present new challenges, with dozens of new cases of Covid-19 infections being added to China every day, while the increase in positive cases will be accompanied by a number of infected test kits, masks and personal protective equipment. “If not handled properly, these medical wastes pollute soil and watercourses and pose a threat to the environment and human health.”
The report also questions China's capacity to dispose of medical waste, stating that the medical waste disposal system has been “overstretched” in a large number of rural areas of the country, and that the surge in medical waste is likely to cause some local governments to “inappropriately dispose of” medical waste, such as “direct dumping” of medical waste in temporary landfills. In response to a question from the Global Times journalist, the spokesman for the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Liu Yubin, presented a systematic presentation on China's current capacity to dispose of medical waste at the launch of the Ministry of Eco-Environmental Environment in the morning of 23, in order to respond to the challenge.
Liu Yubin stated that the Ministry of Eco-Environment attached great importance to environmental control and services in health-care institutions and facilities, and that since the events of Covid-19 Pandemic, the Ministry of Eco-Environment has jointly developed a number of documents and related technical guidelines to strengthen capacity-building, regulation and management of medical waste. “The Ministry of Ecology also directs and urges the strict implementation of the full coverage of environmental regulatory services for medical institutions and facilities, the timely and effective collection and disposal of medical waste and its disposal. 100 per cent full coverage of environmental regulations and services in medical institutions and facilities and 100 per cent compliance with the overall requirement of `two 100 per cent' for timely and effective collection, trans-shipment and disposal of medical waste and medical wastewater. Local capacity-building for the disposal of medical waste has also been accelerated and has been significantly improved.” Liu Yu Bin says. According to data provided by Yobin Liu, medical waste generated throughout 2019 in the country amounted to 1.18 million tons, with a capacity of 1540,000 tons/year. In 2021, the country generated 1.4 million tons of medical waste, while annual disposal capacity reached 2150,000 tons, an increase of 39 per cent over the pre-epidemiological period. “In addition, emergency treatment facilities, such as hazardous waste incineration facilities, have been actively prepared and are ready to be activated.” Liu Yubin stressed that our current routine and emergency disposal capacity for medical waste meets the need for treatment of medical waste, including nucleic acid-detected waste. In the case of the country's many and varied epidemic sites in recent times, the disposal of medical waste has been high, and Liu Yu Bin further explained that “according to our recent deployments, the treatment of medical waste in high-risk areas of the country is generally stable and orderly. Over the past three months, the daily load rate of medical waste treatment facilities in municipalities and municipalities with high-risk areas has been below 90 per cent nationwide, with 97 per cent below 80 per cent and 66 per cent of districts below 50 per cent. All medical waste has been properly disposed of and is almost daily cleared. Liu Yubin stated that the Ministry of Eco-Environment would continue to pay attention to the generation and disposal of medical waste, actively cooperate with the health sector in the classification and disposal of nucleic acid-detected waste, further strengthen environmental supervision of nucleic acid-detected waste and ensure the safety and health of the population.