At a time when the Maharashtra government has been grappling to contain its COVID-19 cases, it is also facing a problem of blood shortage. Minister of Food and Drug Administration Dr Rajendra Shingane said the state has blood stock only for the next six to seven days. To add to it, there has been a rise in demand for blood from COVID-19 and other patients.
The fall in the number of blood donation camps being held has led to a dip in its collection across the state. This is because most of the private sector employees, especially those in information technology, have been working from home and they are not coming forward to donate blood amidst the spread of the virus.
Dr Shingane, who on Friday reviewed the blood supply in Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra, has appealed to citizens to come forward and donate their blood to avoid the shortage. “Today, I took stock of the blood supply and inquired about the blood stock in the blood banks in Mumbai and other places in the state. There is blood stock available for the next six to seven days. The blood stock needs to be increased given the present pandemic,” he noted.
Dr Shingane reiterated that people should come forward and organise blood donation camps in a serious bid to ramp up the blood collection. He also called upon political leaders to organise similar blood donation camps in their respective cities and districts on their birthdays.
A senior officer from the state Public Health Department recalled that, due to the pandemic, people were not venturing out last year. This had led to the cancellation of a large number of surgeries. “There is no statewide lockdown now, except for the night curfew. In some districts, there is a partial lockdown. The government expects citizens to donate blood by observing the COVID-19 protocols,” he said.
Meanwhile, Housing Minister Dr Jitendra Awhad appealed to the youth, in particular, to donate blood by observing a safe distance.