According to Mr. Nguyễn Thượng Hiền, deputy head of the General Department of Environment, the management of COVID-19 related waste must follow the treatment for infectious medical waste and hazardous waste. Specifically, the joint Circular No. 58/2015/TTLT-BYT-BTNMT issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) and Ministry of Health (MoH) stipulates specific regulations for normal and infectious medical waste.
MONRE and MOH have consulted the National Steering Committee to issue guidance for waste and environmental sanitation issues associated with the COVID-19 infection. Besides, MONRE also sent guiding documents to localities to increase the management of household solid waste and COVID-19 related waste.
Waste treatment facilities permitted by MONRE can handle several types of medical waste. For localities, that don’t have a treatment plant for hazardous waste, they should transport the COVID-19 related waste to the nearest available facilities for proper treatment.
The current environmental regulations promote the investment in (centralized) waste treatment facilities and inter-regional waste treatment to avoid disperse investment, which often doesn’t meet the environmental requirements. Presently, there are over 100 hazardous waste treatment facilities permitted by MONRE. About 70% of these can handle medical waste and are located in different areas in Vietnam. Principally, sterilization including autoclaves, microwaves, or disposal in incinerators is deployed to treat infectious medical waste.
Source & further information: “COVID-19 medical waste needs a comprehensive policy” at https://vietnamnews.vn, accessed on 14 September 2021.