By Hou Liqiang
The Chinese mainland has managed to dispose of all medical waste in the battle against the novel coronavirus outbreak on the day it is generated, according to the country's top environmental apparatus.
Central China's Hubei province, the center of the outbreak, and its capital Wuhan, the hardest-hit city, have both seen their disposal capacity more than doubled from what it was before the onset of the outbreak, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment said in a media release on Thursday.
The daily capacity for medical waste disposal on Tuesday on the mainland stood at 5,435 metric tons, 532 tons more than that before the onset of the virus outbreak, the ministry said. It also said a total of 2,661 tons of medical waste, including 489 tons related to virus control, were produced on the day. All but 20 tons of the waste was disposed of on the same day, meaning only less than half of the total disposal capacity was put into operation.
It didn't clarify if the 20 tons that were not disposed of are novel coronavirus-related, but said generally medical waste could be disposed of on the same day it is generated, especially virus-related waste.
About 67 percent of medical waste, or 125 tons, collected in Hubei province on Tuesday is novel coronavirus-related. All the medical waste and another 9 tons in the stockpile were disposed of on the same day, using 62 percent of its capacity of 317.5 tons a day, it said.
The ministry said the province's daily disposal capacity has been further enhanced since then and increased to the current 373.3 tons, 193.3 tons more than that before the epidemic broke out, it said.
"All medical waste in Wuhan city is disposed of as novel coronavirus-related," it said.
A total of 1,123.8 tons of medical waste were generated in the city, which is Hubei's capital and the hardest-hit city in the outbreak, from Jan 20 to Tuesday. All the waste was disposed of as of Tuesday with no stockpile left, it said.
On Tuesday, the city was able to dispose of the 47 tons of medical waste generated that day and 10 tons in the stockpile, with only 57 percent of its capacity, it said.
The city, the epicenter of the outbreak, has seen its disposal capacity more than doubled from the onset of the outbreak, with an increase of 50.5 tons from the previous 50 tons, according to the release.
It said 23 sets of new mobile disposal facilities have been sent to Wuhan, Xiaogan and Huanggang in the province as of Tuesday, increasing its daily disposal capacity by 56 tons.
Another 10 sets, which boast of a daily capacity of 24 tons, will be dispatched to Wuhan soon, it added.