In a video that has gone viral on the social media, two children are seen carrying firewood in a used PPE kit near Agra Cantt railway station, right in front of DRDO's laboratory ADRDE (Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment).
The children, when tracked down, claimed that they had found the used PPE kit from a garbage dump near a burial site close to ADRDE laboratory.
"We used the white suit to carry our firewood. Later, when we reached home, our parents asked us to immediately get rid of the suit and we dumped it in a nearby nullah," the children told local reporters.
The two kids belong to a nomadic tribe and had come to Agra from Bharatpur in Rajasthan in search of work but have been stranded due to the lockdown.
The father of one of the children, Om Prakash, said, "The children were not aware that the PPE kit could be infectious.
Dr Prabhat Agrawal, professor of medicine department of SN Medical College said, "Only those PPE kit will be harmful or hazardous, which have been used by medical staff who came in contact with a Covid-19 patient. However, if the discarded kit is three days old, it will cease to be harmful to anyone, as virus gets self-destroyed by then."
The newly appointed chief medical officer (CMO) of Agra, Dr R.C. Pandey said, "I have seen the video. The PPE kit that the children are carrying is not from any government medical facility. The kits purchased by us are blue in colour while this one is white."
He said that all the medical waste generated at hospitals is being collected in separate containers. It is sprayed with disinfectant and carried to a disposal facility on Firozabad road. All the waste is taken out of the vehicle and again disinfected and then thrown into an electric furnace.
The CMO said that several people associated with essential services are now using locally made PPE kits and the one in the video seems to be one of those.
The children in the video and their families are yet to be tested for Corona.