The clothes of COVID-19 patients and used PPE kits of doctors and nurses were found on Tuesday in an open area on a busy road outside COVID designated MR Bangur Super Specialty Hospital in South Kolkata. Since last year the hospital has been treating COVID-19 patients.
The locals spotted the clothes, used PPE kits, and other medical equipment on a road in front of the hospital. The locals said they saw these things near an iron barricade when they were on their morning walk on Tuesday.
The Department of Health and Family Welfare of the West Bengal government has repeatedly stated that patients’ clothes and used PPE kits can spread coronavirus and should not be disposed of in the open. The department has issued guidelines on the proper and timely disposal of such items.
When asked about this, a hospital staff member said, “The ambulance drivers may have dropped the clothes and PPE kits." However, hospital authorities could not be reached for a comment on the incident.
Locals are condemning the incident. Pritam Mukherjee, a pedestrian, said, “If the driver leaves, why aren’t the police taking any action against him.”
At many places across Kolkata, used PPE kits and other medical wastes are being dumped in open areas, which may become a cause of the spread of COVID-19 infections in the city. The waste collectors often complain about medical wastes lying on busy roads.
West Bengal on Tuesday reported 98 COVID-19 deaths pushing the death toll to 16,460, the state’s health department said in a bulletin. The state reported a total of 5,427 fresh COVID-19 cases, raising the tally to 14,37,446, it said.
Recently, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee eased lockdown curbs as the pandemic is slowing down in the state. She has requested the business owners to arrange vaccines for their staff.