Covid-19 Biowaste Scattered on Meerut Road Triggers Panic, Hospital Orders Probe

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After Covid-19 samples were taken away by monkeys in Meerut, confusion ensued at the LLRM Medical College campus after Viral Transport Medium (VTMs) of samples that were being transported for waste disposal fell from a cart. VTM is a collection and transport system employed for the collection, transport, and prolonged freezing of clinical specimens having viruses, including Covid-19.

According to a report in The Times of India, hospital officials have maintained that the said test tubes were sterilised as per the guidelines in an autoclave in the microbiology laboratory. But an investigation into the incident has been ordered by the principal.

The report added that a video of the incident is being widely circulated on social media. In the said video, the VTMS can be seen lying on the ground after the packet drops from the cart in which they were being transported. The packets have been marked with the 'danger' signage which is the norm in case of biomedical waste.

Dr SK Gupta, principal, LLRM Medical College, told the publication that the VTMs are sterilised before they are taken for being disposed and added that a probe has been initiated to find out how the lapse took place.

Dr Amit Garg, head of the department, microbiology, LLRM Medical College, also assured that the VTMs had already been sterilised as per the guidelines.

"Any biomedical waste from the microbiology laboratory is first sterilised in an autoclave — a machine which uses steam to kill bacteria, virus and fungi. They do not pose any risk of spreading the virus further,” Garg was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh on Monday saw 51 more deaths due to the novel coronavirus, taking the fatalities due to the disease to 2,120 across the state. The total number of infected persons has now gone up to 1,26,722 with 4,113 fresh cases reported in the state in the last 24 hours, a senior state official said.