New Delhi [India], April 20 (ANI): To ensure that there is no hindrance in the movement of mobile blood vans and no shortage of blood transfusion to the needy persons amid the COVID-19 lockdown period, the Ministry of Home Affairs directed all Chief Secretaries of States and Union Territories to facilitate the unhindered movement of bloodmobile vans, blood transportation vans and movement of voluntary blood donation.
The Central government orders come when the Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan has written to MHA's Secretary Ajay Bhalla citing the concern. "In the view of the outbreak of COVID-19 and complete lockdown since 25 March 2020, all modes of transportation, as well as the movement of common people, are compromised. This has also resulted in limited movement of blood mobile and transportation vans as well as blood donors for voluntary blood donations," said Sudan.
"Though the overall requirement of blood has come down, collection of blood from a healthy voluntary blood donor is essential to be continued to meet the requirements of thalassaemic children, pregnant mothers and other emergency need for blood transfusion even during this period. As a result of the lockdown, collection and transportation of blood and blood components have become a challenge," Sudan added.
Srinivas K, Deputy Secretary at MHA, in a letter to Chief Secretaries of States, UTs, Director General of Police and Commissioner of Police said: "It is requested that suitable directions may be given to the State, district and other field officers to facilitate the unhindered movement of blood mobile vans, transportation vans and movement of voluntary blood donors. It may be ensured that the blood mobile teams are identified through permission letters from State Blood Transfusion Councils and Donor Appointment letters issued from licensed blood centre."
Speaking to ANI, Dr Sunil Kumar, Director of National Blood Transfusion Council (NBTC) said: "We have received multiple complaints across the country that mobile blood vans faced huge problems during their movement from one place to another. For instance, a mobile blood van of Indian Red Cross Society was stopped by traffic cops in Ashok Vihar in Delhi and their slew of such complaints. Similarly, blood donors are finding it difficult to reach blood centres."
There are 3311 licensed blood centres in the country, which are collecting around 12.4 million units of blood per year, Dr Gupta informed.
It may be noted that NBTC works in close coordination with State Blood Transfusion Councils (SBTC) to promote voluntary blood donation program and access to safe blood transfusion to needy patients across the country. (ANI)