Waste Management Corporation (WAMCO) revealed that it would recommence waste collection services on Thursday, following an interruption that occurred due to the lockdown measures enacted in response to Maldives’ first local COVID-19 transmission.
After patient MAV021 tested positive for the virus, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) issued a Red alert for Male’ City and placed the greater Male’ region under lockdown for 24 hours, beginning 1530 hrs on Wednesday afternoon.
Speaking at a press conference held by the National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC) at Dharubaaruge convention centre, WAMCO’s Managing Director Adam Mohamed detailed that the company provided collection services to households as well as for restaurants, cafe’s or other commercial outlets.
“Both services will hopefully commence today”, he stated.
WAMCO instructed customers in Male’, Hulhumale’ and Vilimale’ to leave all household waste at the ground floor of their residences between 1200 and 1400 hrs. Customers were also requested double-bag all waste with special attention to hygiene and ensure that trash bags are only three-quarters full.
Commercial outlets and businesses will be served from 0900 to 1300.
Stating that the company could only collect general household waste at present, WAMCO noted that it was unable to dispose of bulkier waste products during current circumstances.
According to WAMCO, a special team would directly collect waste from each household within the residential area cordoned off during HPA’s contact tracing effort.
Managing Director Adam Mohamed guaranteed that staff safety remained a key priority and that all workers would be provided necessary personal protective equipment (PPE).
Highlighting that several customers would experience inconveniences amid lockdown measures, he reiterated WAMCO’s call for all households and businesses to minimise waste production as much as possible.
Furthermore, the Managing Director urged any unregistered households or businesses to apply for WAMCO services, noting that individuals could not dispose of waste themselves.
The Maldives now has 23 confirmed and seven active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 16 recoveries.
The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected over two million people and claimed over 134,508 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 509,880 people have recovered.
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