Sabah govt says speeding up new incinerator as medical waste from Covid-19 cases pile up

Piled up medical waste outside the Sedafiat waste management firm's compound in Lok Kawi, Sabah has created concern among members of the public
Piled up medical waste outside the Sedafiat waste management firm's compound in Lok Kawi, Sabah has created concern among members of the public

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KOTA KINABALU, Nov 30 — With up to 13 metric tonnes daily, the Sabah government hopes to expedite the construction of an incinerator to get rid of its growing mountain of medical waste that has been dumped indiscriminately by the side of roads, causing grave public concern.

Sabah Covid-19 spokesman Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said the state has asked its concessionaire Sedafiat Sdn Bhd to speed up building the incinerator and facilitate the export of its medical waste to peninsular Malaysia pending its completion.

“There has been dumping of some clinical waste, and the contractor in charge has been asked to comply with the guidelines or proper handling and management of clinical wastes,” he said during a virtual press conference here tonight.

Masidi’s comments come after a news report about a medical waste disposal company based in the Lok Kawi industrial area that has piles of the waste in jumbo bags by the roadside yet to be disposed of.

Sedafiat is the sole contractor in charge of transporting, treating, disposing and managing the waste from 45 quarantine centres in Sabah.

“The Environmental Department has also given permission to the company to send the waste to West Malaysia. The Health Ministry along with the port authorities and Customs Department has also been asked to facilitate the process of expediting the process to prevent the jumbo bags of clinical waste to be put into containers and prevent them from piling up along the roadside,” he said.

The amount of medical waste in Sabah has swollen to between six to 13 metric tonnes a day since the coronavirus first broke out here. The waste is collected from the 45 quarantine centres statewide.

Sabah’s Covid-19 cases remain one of the highest in the country every day.

Today, it came in second behind Selangor with 326 new cases out of the 1,212 new infections.

The entire state is under a conditional movement control order, with inter-district travel banned.

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