Shimla/New Delhi (PIB) 4th May, 2020

“Blood donation saves lives, let’s raise awareness for blood donation & ensure that the needy have timely & affordable access to safe and quality blood. Let’s all donate blood, Be there for someone else. Keep sufficient blood stock for transfusion by moblising voluntary blood donors and providing various facilities like mobile blood collection vans and pick & drop facility,” Dr. Harsh Vardhan said at a blood donation camp organised at Indian Red Cross Society building in New Delhi.

“I have been visited by the patients of Thelessimia personally many a times and I receive several appeals/ complaints through twitter, and other social media platforms from the terminally ill patients who require regular blood transfusion to stay healthy. It is our duty to meet their requirements at all times and keep the regular flow of fresh blood in blood banks.”

He also appealed to voluntary organisations, NGOs and common people at large to come forward to promote voluntary blood donation to maintain ample blood stocks to meet any eventuality in the country. He further said “It should be our motto to inspire, encourage and initiate all forms of humanitarian activities so that human suffering can be minimized at all times to come.”

He asked Red Cross to keep sufficient blood stock for transfusion by promoting voluntary blood donation and providing facilities of pick up and drop to donors. In addition to this Union Minister asked the Indian Red Cross Society to send mobile blood collection vans to the premises of regular blood donors to facilitate them to come forward for blood donation at this difficult point of time. Union Minister said that he had also written to State Health Ministers to promote Voluntary blood donation and had also conducted a Video Conference to this effect too.

While talking about the present situation in the country the Union Minister added “During the difficult times of COVID-19 we are able to manage the critical supply of blood to the needy patients. He said he called the meeting of Red Cross officials to mobilise voluntary blood donation and helped them by arranging 30,000 passes for Red Cross Society workers and their vehicles engaged in promoting voluntary blood donation.”

Exhorting the voluntary blood donors the Minister said “Saving life of others is a service to the mankind.” He said a healthy person can donate blood till the age of 65, every 03 months that is four times an year one can go for blood donation and stay healthy. He said blood donation brings several benefits to the human body – it prevents heart attack, BP gets controlled, the cholesterol level in the blood goes down, obesity is checked. In short, it is ‘Manav seva ke saath swasthya ki suraksha’”. He further informed that he himself had donated blood for more than 100 times in his life as a regular blood donor. For the first time in life he donated blood in 1971 and last in October 2019. He further asked people to donate blood at least once in a year on their birthday or marriage anniversary to make the occasion special for not only themselves but for the people who need blood also.”

He further informed that “Indian Red Cross Society is an voluntary humanitarian organization having a network of over 1100 branches throughout the country, providing relief in times of disasters/emergencies and promotes health & care of the vulnerable people and communities.” “With their type of network we would surely be able to sustain the supply of blood even in testing time of COVID-19 outbreak,” he said.

Union Minister further said that India imposed Lockdown at the right time to stop the spread of the dreaded virus. He urged all to follow Lockdown 3.0 in letter and spirit and observe physical distancing as a social vaccine. He further informed that right now India has ample number of COVID-19 dedicated hospitals, PPEs, N95 masks, Ventilators and medicines. He said that we are at the better footing as compared to rest of the world. “I really value Indian Red Cross fraternity having given a great contribution in our fight against COVID-19 too where they have provided equipments, sanitizers, food, PPE kits and N95 masks etc. to several hospitals in India” he said.

At the end, Dr. Harsh Vardhan thanked all who came to donate blood at the camp and informed that more than 200 people have already registered themselves for blood donation and more are expected as the camp will go on till 04.00 PM in the evening. He visited the blood donors personally in different rooms and exhorted them to keep up the good work. Among them few of the Delhi Police personnel who were posted there also volunteered for blood donation.

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