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Open AccessArticle

Assessment of COVID-19 Waste Flows During the Emergency State in Romania and Related Public Health and Environmental Concerns

Department of Research, Faculty of Geography and Geology, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Carol I Blvd, Nr.20 A, RO-700505 Iasi, Romania
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5439; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155439
Received: 28 June 2020 / Revised: 16 July 2020 / Accepted: 23 July 2020 / Published: 28 July 2020
This paper provides a rapid assessment method of potentially infectious waste flow related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Romania focusing on the emergency state (from 16 March to 14 May 2020) where a national lockdown was in force with restrictive and social distancing measures concerning population mobility and economic activities. Medical and municipal waste management systems are critical services in combating the virus spread in the community. This assessment is useful due to poor available data of medical waste flow in environmental reports and it covers COVID-19 patients, quarantined, and self-isolated persons as the main potential infectious waste sources. The proposed model estimates that COVID-19 related waste flow is 4312 t at the national level from 25 February to 15 June of which 2633 t in the emergency state period. This assessment is correlated with deficiencies of medical and municipal waste management systems in Romania before the COVID-19 pandemic as stress factors of public health and environment. This study points out the main challenges of waste operators and reveals some best practices during this pandemic crisis. Based on the results and discussion section, several recommendations are proposed to COVID-19 waste-related issues and points out the crucial role of the reliable medical and municipal waste database in managing such biologic hazards at national and EU levels. Monitoring of COVID-19 waste flow through such models are important for decision-makers, particularly in low and middle-income countries which are facing waste management deficiencies and gaps in waste statistics, to reduce other contamination risks or related environmental threats. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; waste management; medical waste; municipal waste; public health; pollution COVID-19; waste management; medical waste; municipal waste; public health; pollution
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Mihai, F.-C. Assessment of COVID-19 Waste Flows During the Emergency State in Romania and Related Public Health and Environmental Concerns. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 5439.

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