NEW DELHI: Scarcity of critical care medical equipment has forced India to allow entry of imported used life-saving equipment for re-use due to the prevailing Covid-19 situation even as it falls under the prohibited category as 'hazardous waste'.
Considering possible use of such equipment during the pandemic, the environment ministry has given "one-time permission" to allow such used critical care equipment for re-use.
The ministry in its order said, "In view of the prevailing Covid situation in the country and possible use of these equipment in the ongoing pandemic, the ministry has decided to allow one-time permission for import of used critical care medical equipment for re-use that have been already imported and are lying at different ports/airports as on June 8."
"Such equipment is covered under Annex-9 of the Basel Convention due to the possibility of hazardous content and requires prior informed consent. So, it is critically important to monitor its usage and also track its end-of-life disposal," said Satish Sinha, associate director, Toxics Link.
Issuing an office memorandum last week, the ministry also referred to pending requests before courts for relaxation of the provision of Schedule VI of the Hazardous and Other Wastes Rules 2016 which prohibits import of "used critical care medical equipment for re-use" under the Basel Convention.