DETECTION OF SARS-COV-2 FROM SURFACE OF PATIENTS’ LEFTOVER FOOD PACKAGES AT A COVID-19 QUARANTINE CENTRE

  • Nadia Mohamad Environmental Health Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Shah Alam, 40170, Selangor, Malaysia
  • Yuvaneswary Veloo Environmental Health Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research, Ministry of Health Malaysia
  • Muhammad Alfatih Pahrol Environmental Health Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research, Ministry of Health Malaysia
  • Jeyanthi Suppiah Infectious Disease Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research, Ministry of Health Malaysia
  • Rafiza Shaharudin Environmental Health Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research, Ministry of Health Malaysia
  • Rohaida Ismail Environmental Health Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research, Ministry of Health Malaysia
Keywords: COVID-19, pandemic, medical waste, food packages

Abstract

In healthcare facilities, food waste and its packaging are mostly managed as non-infectious general waste. However, waste from SARS-CoV-2 positive patients, are treated as medical waste as they may be contaminated by the virus. We investigated the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 contamination from positive COVID-19 patients to their leftover food packages at a quarantine centre. Food packages surface was swabbed using prewetted cellular foam, placed into viral transport media and analysed using real time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in two samples (4.5%) from asymptomatic patients who were at day-2 positive SARS-CoV-2 with cycle threshold (Ct) value (RdRp/E), 34.96/35.72 and 37.1/36.48 respectively. Detection of SARS-CoV-2 supports that there is contamination to the waste. These poses risk of exposure as SAR-COV-2 survive on the surfaces, thus, safe handling and disposal of food waste should be maintained. However, further study involving viral culture should be explored to determine the viability of the SARS-CoV-2 from leftover food packages

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Published
2021-12-28
How to Cite
Mohamad, N., Veloo, Y., Pahrol, M. A., Suppiah, J., Shaharudin, R., & Ismail, R. (2021). DETECTION OF SARS-COV-2 FROM SURFACE OF PATIENTS’ LEFTOVER FOOD PACKAGES AT A COVID-19 QUARANTINE CENTRE. Malaysian Journal of Public Health Medicine, 21(3), 217-221. https://doi.org/10.37268/mjphm/vol.21/no.3/art.1205