By Aakanksha Khajuria
New Delhi: As stringent restrictions on movement of people are in force across the country, blood donors are being issued travel passes by organisations who are racing against time to meet the ever-growing requirement of blood.
The measure is being taken in the backdrop of a 21-day lockdown imposed in the country by the government to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
Dr Vanshree Singh, who is the director of Indian Red Cross Society’s blood bank said, “We send out vehicles to pick and drop whoever wants to donate blood. If anyone decides to come on one’s own, we send them travel passes on WhatsApp which they can show to the police and come to the blood bank. Daily, we are receiving 15-20 donors.”
The Red Cross also sends out their vehicle at places where at least 25 people are willing to donate their blood and have a small room available for it. The norms of social distancing are followed diligently and donors are called inside the room by turn.
Since Thalassemic patients are regular recipients of blood, they are encouraged to motivate their relatives and friends to donate voluntarily to the blood bank.
Other Red Cross blood banks are also following the same process to procure blood during the challenging times.
Vanshree said the blood bank will approximately collect over 1,500 units this month, as compared to 3,000-4,000 units, earlier.
“There is no shortage, we are maintaining the requirement of blood since hospitals are only taking emergency or Covid-19 patients. Over 40-50 people are donating blood daily,” she said.
Delhi’s Lion Blood Bank, however, said there is a shortage of blood in banks and Thalassemic patients are the sufferers.
“To meet the demand, we send out our vehicle to pick and drop people who want to donate blood in these challenging times,” Kumar said.
Shobha Tuli, Secretary of NGO Thalassemic India, urged the government to intervene and take necessary steps.
“We need more blood. Blood donation camps should be organized by the government. They should also arrange transportation and donor passes for those who want to volunteer,” she added.
At a time when people are reluctant to step out of their houses due to fear of contracting the virus, it should be noted that the blood donation process does not expose an individual to the risk of getting infected.