Gov’t Allocates Rp 1.3 Trillion Budget for Medical Waste Facilities
The Government will set aside Rp 1.3 trillion for medical waste management facilities in all regions across the country following the continued increase in the number of COVID-19 medical wastes, according to Minister of the Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya.
“President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has decided that the Government will allocate Rp 1.3 trillion budget for medical waste management facilities, including for incinerators,” the Minister said after attending an online Limited Cabinet Meeting on Wednesday (28/07/2021).
The President also ordered regional governments to pay attention to the medical waste management, she added.
According to Siti, the data from Ministry of the Environment and Forestry showed that the volume of COVID-19 medical waste as of 27 July has reached 18,460 tons, including waste from health care facilities, emergency hospitals, quarantine/isolation centers, households (self-isolation) and COVID-19 detection and vaccination test site.
The waste includes infusions, face masks, vaccine vials, syringes, face shields, bandages, hazmat, personal protective equipment (PPE), medical clothing, gloves, PCR/antigen equipment, and alcohol swabs.
Siti said that the data regarding the volume of COVID-19 hazardous and dangerous medical waste was compiled based on reports from the province. Siti also said that the data is still incomplete yet and the Ministry will continue to complete it.
“The hospital association estimates that the volume of medical waste can reach 383 tons per day,” she said.
The Minister went on to say that the hazardous and dangerous medical waste during COVID-19 pandemic has recorded a significant increase.
In West Java, the medical waste increased from 74.03 tons on 9 March 2021 to 836.975 tons on 27 July 2021. In Central Java, it increased from 122.82 tons to 502.401 tons. In East Java, the medical waste increased from 509.16 tons to 629.497 tons, in Banten from 228.06 tons to 591.79 tons and in Jakarta from 7,496.56 tons to 10,939.053 tons.
Siti further said that out of the projected Rp 1.3 trillion budget, around Rp 600 billion will be allocated for transfers to the regions.
Siti also explained that in March, the Ministry had submitted letters to regional governments confirming that COVID-19 medical waste should not be disposed in a final disposal site (TPA). (FID/UN) (RI/MUR)