Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu on Wednesday reiterated his call for proper disposal of healthcare wastes to protect trash collectors from COVID-19 and other diseases.
“If we really want to stop the spread of this virus, then we must all be responsible not only for ourselves but also for others,” he said.
Amid the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources appealed to the public to dispose of their health-care wastes and help safeguard the health of the garbage collectors and haulers as frontliners.
Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, the DENR has consistently and repeatedly reminded households to segregate their used face masks, face shields and disposable gloves because these are potentially contaminated and infectious waste, Cimatu said.
“Our garbage collectors are also our front liners. They are at a very high risk of infection every time they collect unsegregated and improperly disposed household health care waste,” he said.
He warned that it only takes one infected garbage collector to spread a disease.
“Think of the members of his family, his co-workers, his community, and you arrive at a possible exponential transmission of the virus. Let us protect those who protect us,” he stressed.
The environment chief earlier reminded local government units to prioritize the handling of pandemic-related trash by imposing strict waste segregation in households and implementing an effective collection system.