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Hospital implicated in recycled masks scandal speaks out

The Mbagathi Hospital management has refuted claims that face masks being recycled and later sold by hawkers are from the facility.

The hospital’s Board chair Dr George Osewe has dismissed the claims saying the facility has proper ways of dispensing off its waste and therefore such masks could not have come from irresponsibly disposed waste at the hospital.

This comes after posts trending on social media that the masks being recycled come from Mbagathi Hospital.

In a video, a man is seen washing the masks and airing them to dry with the report alleging that the masks were obtained directly from Mbagathi Hospital or acquired from the facility’s dumpsite.

He, however, said there is no evidence whatsoever that the said masks are from Mbagathi Hospital.

“We as the hospital management and board members wish to categorically state that all used masks of the hospital wastes are incinerated in the hospital incinerator,” said Dr Osewe in a statement.

The Board chair, nonetheless, said they have launched investigations into the allegations.

“We care about our patients and the general population as regards to their safety. At this time where we have the Covid-19, as a hospital, we are taking preventative measures seriously and cannot conduct action that put public lives at risk,” he said.

Selling of recycled face masks has hit headlines after the government warned Kenyans that they risk being arrested and fined for not wearing masks while in public.

With institutions such as banks and supermarkets have already started turning away customers who do not have masks on, recycling of used face masks is turning into a booming business.

This has caught the attention of the Ministry of Health with Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe advising people to properly dispose of used masks by either tearing or burning them to prevent against their re-use.

He said the government has developed protocols on safe disposal of coronavirus waste to prevent infection risk, which will be shared with counties for implementation.