Amid the lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic, India is witnessing a drastic shortage in the number of blood supplies to provide the people in need. According to the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS), they have collected only 42 units of blood in the last 24 hours which is not enough. Reportedly, before the lockdown, the IRCS's blood bank used to receive over 100 blood units in a day.
Speaking to ANI, Director of ICRS's Blood Bank Dr. Vanshree Singh said, "During the period of lockdown, we are collecting near about 40-50 units of blood on average. We have got only 42 units of blood in the last 24 hours which is very less. We are taking the help of NGOs, religious groups and the corporate sector to encourage people for blood donation."
She further added that before the lockdown, they were collecting about 30,000 units in a year, about 2,500-3,000 units in a month and the daily collection was near about 80-100 units.
Singh further stated that in the last few days, the IRCS has cancelled several blood donations camps as scheduled areas were declared as COVID-19 hotspots. "For example, in Delhi, we were organising a blood donation camp at Tara Apartment in Kalakaji area, but we had to cancel our plan when it was declared a hotspot area by the government. Getting a voluntary donor is the biggest challenge for us," she said.
Meanwhile, reportedly, as a part of the collaborative approach for COVID-19 management, the IRCS has started a 24x7 control room in Delhi for blood services.
According to reports, the Union Minister of Health, Dr Harsh Vardhan has directed all state health departments to ensure adequate availability of blood in blood banks. Along with it, an online portal, 'e-RaktKosh' is being used for the real-time status monitoring of the current stock of each blood group. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs has directed all the state governments to facilitate unhindered movement of blood mobile vans, blood transportation vans and voluntary blood donation.
According to the latest update from the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, the number of total Coronavirus cases in the country has climbed to 18,985, including 15,122 active cases. While 603 deaths have been reported overall, around 3,260 people have been cured/discharged/migrated. Meanwhile, Maharashtra and Delhi have the highest number of cases in the country.
(With ANI Inputs)