Impact of the COVID-19 face mask disposal on environment and perception of people of the Sultanate of Oman
Background: Environmental concerns are increasing in and around us due to improper discharge of personal protective gear or equipment (PPEs) during the current pandemic with SARS-CoV-2. The residents of Salalah, under the Dhofar governorate of Oman, were hastening to take every possible measure to safeguard their health against the COVID-19 pandemic. In this scenario, improper discard of facemasks in the environment entails a significant problem for public health and aquatic environments.
Objective: This study aims to assess how the SARS-CoV-2 virus disrupted the household waste management chain in the Sultanate of Oman. In addition, descriptive survey has also identified people's perception about the existing household waste management system.
Methods: Total 200 respondents were personally selected under the purposive sampling category. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 26. The mean, standard deviation, and distribution shape were calculated based on the retrieved data. The variables and frequencies were tabulated for categorical variables. Results show negative impacts on the environment, wildlife, and public health. It was also observed that there was a significant difference when grouped according to residence location since the obtainedalso observed a significant difference when grouped according to residence location since the p-value of 0.007 was less than 0.05 alpha level. This means that the responses differ significantly. It shows from the test conducted that participants from the village experienced and observed a negative impact on the discarded face masks compared to those in the city.
Conclusion and recommendation: This study illustrates the real impact of the COVID-19 face masks on the environment, wildlife, and public health. In addition, the new management of the user's face masks for eliminating or reducing the risks to human health and the environment has been suggested. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2022; 36(2):000-000]
Keywords: Environmental Health, Face mask, Microplastic, SARS-CoV-2, Survey, Statistical Analysis.