The Rivers State Inter-ministerial Committee on COVID-19 will partner the National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency (NESREA) in the disposal of healthcare wastes in the State.
Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, stated this on Thursday when a NESREA delegation led by its South-South Director, Mr Jacob F. Ayuba, paid a courtesy visit on the committee in Port Harcourt.
Nsirim,who is chairman of the committee, said the committee’s readiness to partner the agency in ensuring that healthcare wastes which were products of the fight against the Coronavirus were properly disposed of, to prevent further infections.
According to him, the committee “will be willing to partner with NESREA in designing enlightenment materials that would sensitise our people as it relates to the guidelines on disposal of infectious wastes”.
“As a Government, one can proudly say that we are really putting in our best in the containment of the virus”, Nsirim said, adding, “we’ll wait for you to give us content in this direction, so that in the next one week or so we would be able to develop radio/Tv jingles and maybe fliers that we’ll begin to give out to all the various stakeholder groups in the state.
“That is one assurance we’re giving you. We’ll also say to you that as a committee we’re open for more ideas in this direction. Whatever ideas you have as an agency, you can bring forth to us.”
In his opening remarks, the NESREA helmsman had explained that the reason for their visit was to commend the Committee and the State Government over steps taken so far to prevent Coronavirus infection in the State, and to compliment efforts being made with guidelines for healthcare waste disposal.
Ayuba noted increasing manufacture of hand sanitizers by those who are not knowledgeable in the chemical components therein, and in the process come up with inflammable sanitizers that have proven to be hazardous.
“Consequently, we felt that people using chemicals as disinfectants should be properly guided both in usage, and handling, and at the end of the day, how they dispose of these wastes arising from using.
“It has to be properly discharged in a containment, not just being discharged anyhow. This is why the agency came up with specific guidelines on how these healthcare wastes can be properly disposed of.”