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Covid-19, a virus, most dangerous to the human lives, has drawn full attention to the invention of vaccine, awareness among the people, prevention from infection, and protection from the disease. The entire world has invested in medical equipment, personal protection equipment and different types of medicines necessary for the primary treatment of Covid-19 infected disease stopping all commercial productions. As a result, it affects the economy, culture, as well as the nature. From the beginning, environmentalists raised their voices against nature, hampering human activities, and they denoted it as a 'Revenge of nature.' Since there is no vaccine and specific medicine for the treatment of Covid-19 infected patients, the only easy possible solution is to lock down and home quarantine. Temporarily, it creates an opportunity for the other species of nature to move independently. It gives immense relief to the environmentalists and general public temporarily. But in reality, what happened to nature during this epidemic is a big question.

According to Somaniet et al. (2020), the quality of ambient air and water has drastically improved various cities in India due to the COVID-19 preventive measures such as lockdown, social distance restriction of all transportation, etc. Similarly, based on data from China, the USA, Italy, and Spain, Zambrano-Monserrate et al. (2020) claimed a significant positive association between contingency measures and improvement in air quality, clean beaches, and environmental noise reduction.

Despite having these positive outcomes of COVID-19, it suffers from nature differently. The easy spread of this virus compelled people to wear a mask as a precautionary route, use gloves, and hand sanitizer daily that resulted in the generation of a massive amount of medical wastes in the environment. WHO (World Health Organization 2010) recommended alcohol-based hand sanitizers for frequent hand hygiene, which are mainly made up of ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxides in different combinations. These preparations may become toxic to human health and the environment when misused. Also, a study on 9504 alcoholic hand sanitizer exposure cases in children under the age of 12 years in America reported that even a small amount of alcohol can cause alcohol poisoning in children that are responsible for the confusion, vomiting, and drowsiness and in severe cases of respiratory disease and death (Mahmood et al. 2020). Furthermore, frequent usage of said hand sanitizers has reported an increased chance of antimicrobial resistance and the chance of other viral diseases. But the most significant negative side of COVID-19 is unpredicted wastage and its mismanagement. Zambrano-Monserrate et al. (2020) addressed that COVID-19 has reduced the recycling process alarmingly that endangering the contamination of physical spaces like water and land. In addition to air due to increased wastages. Moreover, quarantine policies have led consumers to online shopping for a home delivery. As a result, organic and inorganic wastes generated by households has increased dramatically. Besides, the packaging of online food purchasing has also generated inorganic waste. Despite different types of waste production, Covid-19generates a huge medical wastage. According to Calma (2020), hospitals in Wuhan produced an average of 240 metric tons of medical waste per day during the epidemic compared to their previous average of fewer than 50 tons. Somani et al. (2020) reported that excessive volume of COVID-19 waste (personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, surgical mask, gloves, head caps, feet protection, etc.) has become a significant challenge for its proper handling to the waste management authorities.

As like other COVID-19 affected countries, Bangladesh also recommends health guidelines suggested by WHO for her people to avoid infection. As a densely populated country, most of the people are unaware about COVID-19 and the use of medical kits. Consequently, incorrect disposal of medical wastage such as masks, gloves, sanitizer bottles by the general public is not surprising. Bangladesh was already struggling with poor medical waste management before the COVID-19 pandemic and has now been hit hard by a sudden rise in medical waste volume.

To fight this enormous amount of medical waste, China's central government deployed 46 mobile medical waste treatment facilities in Wuhanand built a new plant with a capacity of 30 tons within 15 days in March. In India, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has recently released specific guidelines for handling and safe disposal of biomedical waste generated during the diagnosis, treatment and quarantine period of patients confirmed or suspected to have the COVID-19. Commodore Mohammad Abdur Razzak (Retired), former Chief Waste Management Officer of Dhaka North City Corporation, urged for an effective medical waste management system during the pandemic as it is vulnerable for COVID-19 infections as well as a threat to the natural environment (The Daily Star 2020). According to experts’ opinions, kitchen waste should treat as medical waste during the pandemic and unfortunately, Dhaka South City Corporation has failed to start separate waste management to date (The New Age Bangladesh, 2020). The major problem is the lack of resources such as capital, machineries, trained workers etc. to handle the deadly corona virus infetitious medical wastes. Moreover, the preparation of managing corona pandemic was also very poor, for instance, shortage of musks, gloves, protection equipments etc. In addition, corruption and lack of coordination among the health sector, waste management authority, and policymakers of government were the main bottlenecks. The scenario of the other parts of the country is also the same. As a result, government should establish a policy and finance for a separate bio-medical waste management centrally and coordinate waste management authorities (City Corporation and Pourasova) of different parts of the country. However, private environmental organizations with the government permission should come forward by initiating recycling, reusing or reducing strategies to overcome the medical waste management challenges to save the environment and to reduce to the risk of COVID-19 infections.



Calma, J., 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic is generating tons of medical waste. Retrieved April, 27, p.2020.

Mahmood, A., Eqan, M., Pervez, S., Alghamdi, H.A., Tabinda, A.B., Yasar, A., Brindhadevi, K. and Pugazhendhi, A., 2020. COVID-19 and frequent use of hand sanitizers; human health and environmental hazards by exposure pathways. Science of the Total Environment, 742, p.140561.

Somani, M., Srivastava, A.N., Gummadivalli, S.K. and Sharma, A., 2020. Indirect implications of COVID-19 towards s

The Daily Star. 2020. Can Bangladesh cope with covid-19 medical waste? Hazardous medical waste management during the pandemic, viewed 28 April 2020, <>

The New Age Bangladesh. 2020. No COVID-19 waste management in Bangladesh yet, Infection risks grow, environment suffers damage, viewed 23 June 2020, <>

WHO. 2010.  WHO-recommended Handrub Formulations, 2010, viewed 08 April 2020, <>

Zambrano-Monserrate, M.A., Ruano, M.A. and Sanchez-Alcalde, L., 2020. Indirect effects of COVID-19 on the environment. Science of the Total Environment, p ustainable environment: an investigation in Indian context. Bioresource Technology Reports, 11, p.100491..138813.


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