Mayor Isko Moreno said Wednesday used COVID-19 tests kits in Sampaloc were not scattered on the road intentionally. The mess was cleaned and an investigation on the source is underway, he said.
Security footage showed that the used kits fell from a punctured garbage bag attached to a pedicab, he said. “We are compliant with the mandate of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources on the proper disposal of hazardous and infectious waste, which is a strict requirement to be granted a license to operate from the Department of Health annually,” Moreno said.
The mayor warned clinics, laboratories, and businesses in the city of closure if they fail to properly dispose of hazardous materials. Charges of improper waste management will also be filed against them.
Moreno said Manila stopped using rapid test kits on July 15 and transitioned to free drive-thru COVID-19 serology testing after procuring a testing machine from American healthcare company Abbott.
"Let us try to understand na itong mga rapid test kits na ito ay healthcare waste, ibig sabihin mas iba ang treatment niyan kesa sa ordinary waste products katulad sa bahay. Dahil ito ay maaaring makapanghawa, makapag-cause ng harm sa mga tao," Health Usec. Rosario Vergeire said in a briefing.
(Let us try to understand that these rapid test kits are healthcare waste, meaning its treatment and how it is handled is different from ordinary waste products found at home. Because these are infectious, they can cause harm to people.)
She called on local government units and healthcare facilities to practice proper disposal of hazardous waste to prevent infections.