Face masks, hand sanitizers, gloves and other protective gear have now become essential to use. In light of this, the Greater Chennai Corporation listed out guidelines that one must follow to dispose of face masks, gloves and other solid waste from houses were people in quarantine and where people are not.
As per the advisory, residents from quarantined houses have been requested to handover the used masks, gloves and other waste to the Sanitary Workers of GCC separately in the yellow bag provided by them on a daily basis. These masks, gloves and other waste will have to be disinfected using 5% of ordinary bleach solution or 1% sodium hypochlorite solution and kept in the yellow bag in a closed bin. The collected bags will then be sent to GCCâ€™s Bio-Medical Waste Processing Facility Centres and also to the incinerator.
Residents from non-quarantined houses will have to disinfect the used mask and gloves using 5% of ordinary bleach solution or 1% sodium hypochlorite solution and store it in a separate wrapper in a closed bin before handing it over to the sanitary worker during their daily door-to-door collection. This waste from non-quarantined houses will be treated as domestic hazardous waste by GCC and will be incinerated. Triple-layer surgical masks and N-95 Respirator Masks are recommended by the Health and Family Welfare Department.
Experts across the world are split in their opinion about the usage of face masks mainly because it has led to the hoarding of protective face masks by some, making it unavailable for others who are in dire need of it. The advisory issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the usage and disposal of face masks notes that masks are effective only when â€śused in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.â€ť The advisory also adds that those who use the mask should know how to dispose of it.