Public perception towards medical waste generated in the environment during the COVID-19 pandemic in Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia

Abdul-Hakeem Alomari, Omer Aga, Lola El Sahmarany, Mariam Hegazi, Latifah Almulla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Airborne droplets and contaminated surfaces are the main routes for the epidemic virus outbreak that causes the novel coronavirus. To reduce virus spread, people wear face masks and gloves daily, which massively increases the amount of waste generated in the environment. Also, the inappropriate disposal of used masks and gloves in communities may boost the spread of the novel coronavirus. However, no studies have been conducted to evaluate a public perception regarding the management of generated masks and gloves during the global health threat. Therefore, this paper proposes a study of public awareness, attitudes, and practices towards gloves and masks generated during the novel coronavirus pandemic in Saudi Arabia. The study showed that most of the participants (74%) have adequate awareness regarding the proper way to dispose of used masks and gloves, with 76% showing positive attitudes toward waste management. Gender shows a significant correlation with the regulations of medical waste collection and disposal (r = 0.169, p = 0.0001), and the consideration of the effective disposal of COVID-19 waste management as a collective responsibility of the community (r = 0.158, p = 0.0001). Also, the study shows that the majority of participants were aware on the availability of regulations for the collection and disposal of biomedical waste. Moreover, it demonstrates that public awareness regarding the attitude and measures taken by regional municipalities to reduce the spread of coronavirus has a significant positive correlation (r = 0.279, p = 0.0001). The study further recognized that the effective management of contagious wastes significantly protects the public against the improper practices of wastes disposal generated during the novel coronavirus pandemic. public perception; community perception; environmental impact; masks and gloves generated during the novel corona virus pandemic; medical waste management; novel coronavirus; novel coronavirus outbreaks
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e08363
JournalHeliyon
Volume7
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 16 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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