On 11, 12 and 13 January 2021 the Institute of Chemical Sciences and Technologies of the Italian National Research Council (ISTM – CNR), with the support of Fondazione FORMIT, held a Training Programme 2 on “Hazardous waste management during the COVID-19 health emergency”, which organised for the Pakistani stakeholders involved in the project. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impairment to travel, the training was held online.
The training – which has been already delivered for Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan and will be erogated also for Afghanistan and Mongolia in the following weeks – involved more than 20 stakeholders from Pakistani Ministries and Agencies. It had the goal of spreading knowledge and know-how about safety and security issues related to the generation, handling, stockpiling, transportation, treatment and disposal of hazardous waste materials produced and/or found in sites, healthcare facilities and laboratories in this period of pandemic crisis. The training also aimed at raising awareness about the state-of-the-art and the good practices on how to safely manage SARS-CoV-2-related chemical and/or biological waste, as well as demonstrating how to use personal protective equipment (PPE) to operate in COVID-19 contaminated areas.
During day 1 - following the welcome of Dr. Sven Ruesch from the European Commission - the scientific team provided the most updated information about SARS-CoV-2 and all related information for an efficient response in terms of risk assessment and safe disposal of biologically-contaminated waste material.
During day 2 the current COVID-19 emergency situation in Pakistan and the definition of methods for disinfection and bio-safety principles in relation to the pandemic emergency were discussed with local stakeholders.
Finally, during day 3 an overview of the protection measures was presented, and a practical session was held by the ISTM-CNR scientific team led by Dr. Matteo Guidotti to live show how to don and doff specific personal protective equipment to combat COVID-19.
At the end of the three sessions, all participants thanked the project staff for organising a very interesting and practical training that will help them in properly addressing the pandemic crisis in their country.