MARGAO: Herald finding on waste collected from the COVID patients in home isolation and dumped at Sonsoddo and published titled ‘Sonsoddo sitting on a COVID bomb!’ this Wednesday, has exposed the ill-functioning of concerned authorities with regard to COVID waste handling. Concerned citizens, referring to the report, have urged the government authorities to resolve the issue at the earliest, before it leads to a health disaster.
Curtorim MLA Aleixo Reginald Lourenco has even warned to take the street with the people if authorities fail to remove the COVID waste from Sonsoddo.
"I hope that by next three to four days the COVID waste will be lifted from the Sonsoddo dump yard. First protected the site and second dispose of the waste at earliest", he demanded.
Taking sue-motto of the Herald revelation over the COVID waste the Chief Officer of Margao Municipal Council Agnelo Fernandes has apparently issued the instruction to the Sanitary Inspector to do the follow-up with the government-appointed agency immediately.
Fernandes admitted that MMC is handling the task of collecting the waste from homes of home isolated COVID positive patients.
"In the morning I received the clipping of the news and soon after I instructed the Sanitary Inspector to look into the matter. I also instructed to immediately contact the agency appointed by the government to lift the COVID waste from Sonsoddo dump yard," he said.
He further said that they have given special yellow colour bags for COVID waste and it is shocking to know that civic body is unaware that those bags are mixed with the regular waste collected from the commercial town.
Chairperson Lyndon Pereira said inspection will be done on June 10, in order to check the bio-medical and other waste collected from COVID patients and dumped at Sonsoddo.
"I am not aware of the issue in details, however, I will check out and will see to it that the COVID waste does not lead to health hazards in the city", assured Pereira.
Reginald in the mean time wrote a letter to Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant marked copies to Health Minister Vishwajit Rane, Minister for Waste Management Michael Lobo, and Minister for Urban Development Milind Naik alongside all the concerned departments and urged to resolve the issue at the earliest.
"The long-pending Sonsoddo garbage dump issue has not been resolved for good but now due to its sheer carelessness it is adding more woes to the Sonsoddo by piling of dangerous Covid medical waste at the site,” Reginald said.
Former Chairperson of MMC Savio Coutinho said that the waste collected from the COVID positive patients in home isolation should be disposed of immediately in a scientific manner.
"We know that the government has appointed an agency to lift such type of waste, but it is very sad that this waste is lying at Sonsoddo, equally sad that no much attention given by the Council to verifying why this waste is not being lifted", he stated.
Savio pointed out that hundreds of workers go to Sonsoddo regularly and anyone can be infected getting exposed to such waste.