New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: World Blood Donor Day is observed on June 14 every year since 2005, to express thanks to the blood donors worldwide while also encouraging more people to come forward to donate blood.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, voluntary blood donation has decreased manifold. The reason being, the direct or indirect impact of COVID-19. Last year, in April 2020, a month after the nationwide lockdown to control the spread of COVID-19 was put in place, the Indian Red Cross Society had said that voluntary blood donation had fallen by almost 100 per cent.

The government of India, in its guidelines released on March 25, 2020, suggests the following criteria for a donor to be eligible to donate blood amid the pandemic.

The Government of India bars the ‘at-risk donors’ from donating blood, in accordance with the COVID-19 safety protocol. A donor should not have any travel history (domestic or international) for 28 days on the day of donation. The donor shouldn’t have a history of either being in contact with a COVID-19 patient or be infected himself for a period of four weeks on the day of blood donation.

The government has also designated special protocol so as to ensure the blood donation site to be safe for donating blood. The guideline emphasise the role of social distancing in the blood donation site along with other infection control measures such as hand hygiene, cough etiquette, avoiding close contact with any confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 and safe disposal of used gloves, masks, caps and other soiled material.

To ensure that the transfused blood is not infected by COVID-19, National Blood Transfusion Council continues to keep it compulsory to allow the transfer of screened blood components to avoid the risks associated with blood and blood component transfusion, including post donation instances of COVID-19.

(Disclaimer: The article is purely informative based on the researches and several studies. However, English Jagran does not independently vouch for this report. Prior consultation with a doctor is advisable before donating blood.)

Posted By: Mukul Sharma