Coronavirus: How Ramky Enviro is disposing of dangerous biomedical waste to curb the spread of COVID-19

From collection and segregation at source to disposal through incineration, Hyderabad-based Ramky Enviro doing its bit in the fight against the spread of the new coronavirus.

The novel coronavirus has not only demonstrated the need for a solid healthcare infrastructure in India, but also shed light on the importance of frontline warriors such as doctors, pathologists, nurses, and ambulance service providers, among others. 

But, there is another link in this chain that has been silently performing an equally-important function — medical waste management.

Hyderabad-based Ramky Enviro Engineers Ltd. is one such firm managing biomedical waste being generated by hospitals.

“Currently, COVID-19-related waste is coming in from designated locations and there is a federal guideline on how to manage this. This is potentially infectious waste, and there is legislation in India on how to manage it. There are some additional precautions we have ensured, as COVID virus is highly contagious. These guidelines are being met or exceeded by our people on the ground,” said Masood Mallick, Joint Managing Director at Ramky Enviro Engineers, in an interview with YourStory’s Shradha Sharma.

Services involve a process that ranges from collection and segregation at source to disposal through incineration (burnt at an extremely high temperature for the complete destruction of the coronavirus).

As the number of cases continues to rise, and COVID-19 locations shift from hospitals to isolation units, handling higher quantities of biomedical waste is a challenge, and the company is looking to ramp up incineration facilities and is exploring alternatives too.

While Ramky Enviro lauded the role of government agencies for their cooperation with private players such as waste management firms, it also seeks recognition of waste managers as frontline responders.

“Some policies have been introduced to support frontline responders. We would ask for the same schemes that are being extended to healthcare workers to be extended to allied workers. It will give a lot of confidence to our staff,” Mallick said. 

As of April 12, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare states that India has 7,367 reported cases of coronavirus, and 273 deaths.