REMA warns public against improper disposal of used face masks

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The Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) Thursday urged the public to ensure proper disposal of face masks to avert more transmission of the COVID-19 virus in the country.

In several guidelines issued to the public, REMA said it is prohibited to mix used face masks with other household or workplace wastes, or to throw away or burn them.

 “Improper disposal of face masks may lead to pollution of water, soil and air in addition to continued transmission of COVID-19. Protect the environment and biodiversity, by preventing throwing of used face masks in inappropriate places,” Coletha Ruhamya, the director general of REMA said.  

She urged the public to provide separate bins for temporary keeping of used face masks in order to avoid their mixing with other wastes at homes, offices, markets, or any other work places or residences.

“People are required to take back used face masks to selling points when they go to buy new ones or any time they want to dispose them off. Used health masks can also be taken to temporary storage points at health care facilities and pharmacies,” she added

Rwandan health minister on April 18 ordered mandatory wearing of face masks while moving in public and at home as part of efforts to contain COVID-19.

The health ministry on Thursday reported that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases had reached 243.

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