technician cleaning clinical waste bin

Coronavirus Testing and Waste Disposal

Coronavirus Testing and Infectious Waste Disposal

Initial is supporting South African businesses with the collection and disposal of waste associated with the Coronavirus pandemic. This includes infectious waste which may be contaminated or potentially contaminated with Coronavirus and waste from nationwide testing and vaccinations programmes.

Keeping our customers compliant with the complex legislation surrounding clinical and infectious waste is key to our operations. As experts in the collection and disposal of health care risk waste, we adhere to all legislative guidelines.

The recent government announcement in February of a national vaccine rollout means that additional Coronavirus medical waste is going to be created at testing and vaccination centres. South African legislation requires that any waste which is contaminated by Coronavirus, or which may potentially be contaminated by Coronavirus, be disposed of separately to other infectious medical waste.

Initial is here to support you with the changes to your medical waste management brought about by this legislation, and the vaccination rollout.

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Correct Coronavirus waste management

Under the Department of Health’s National Public Hygiene Strategy and Implementation Plan any waste generated from a possible or a confirmed case of Coronavirus must be disposed of as infectious waste, but may not be disposed of with other infectious waste.

Any infectious waste produced, including gloves, aprons, overalls, face masks, paper towels and swabs, should be disposed of only into 50 litre  or 142 litre single-use cardboard box sets and liners, rather than the reusable plastic medical waste containers which are usually used for infectious waste. Initial can provide you with these single-use cardboard boxes.

Cardboard boxes must be marked COVID-19, and when the container/s leave the isolation area they must be sealed securely with biohazard tape, then double-bagged using two 100micron red bags and cable tied to ensure that the container’s surface cannot contaminate any other area.

Waste from other sources where the infection status is unknown, or in the absence of testing, must also be disposed of as above.

Products required when handling Coronavirus waste

Clinical Waste Bags

Initial's sturdy, tear-resistant and UN-approved clinical waste bags safely store hazardous and non-hazardous clinical waste.

Rigid Containers

Our rigid containers provide safe and compliant storage for clinical, anatomical, cytotoxic and cytostatic waste.

Sharps Containers

Puncture-proof range of sharps containers, colour coded to ensure full transparency of sharps waste segregation.

Coronavirus vaccination and testing sites

We are supporting Coronavirus vaccination and testing sites with their assembly, ongoing infectious and clinical waste management and routine specialist disinfection services.

With potential large volumes of visitors to these sites, the risk for cross-infection could be high. To reduce these risks, ensure that you have hand sanitisers available for both staff and visitors.

Maintaining good waste segregation at these sites is vital. Initial’s expert consultants will be able to guide you through these requirements.

What waste provisions do you need to consider?

Vaccination sites

Vaccination sites will require waste disposal units for any PPE waste that is generated. In addition, needles used for Coronavirus vaccinations are considered highly infectious sharps waste and therefore must be disposed of into yellow sharps bins.

Testing sites

You may require different waste disposal options, dependent on the type of Coronavirus test you are implementing. When finger prick testing, you will require a puncture-proof yellow sharps container for used needles. When conducting lateral flow tests, single-use cardboard box sets and liners are required for the disposal of the used test and any PPE generated when doing the test.

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