A blood donation camp was organised by the 'I am still Human' NGO at Ramjas College in Delhi University for the welfare of Indian Army personnel on Sunday. (Xinhua/Rahel Patrasso/IANS) (da) (vf). Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, April 9 : The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday issued guidelines for blood transfusion services in the country amid novel coronavirus pandemic.

According to the guidelines, a person who has travel history, contact history or confirmed case of novel coronavirus, has to be excluded from blood donation.

Social distancing measures should be followed in the blood donation site.

They also said that if a donor reports back to the blood centre or camp organiser within 14 days of donating the blood, experiencing illness suspected to be Covid-19 or is confirmed positive case of coronavirus or his close contact being confirmed with the infection post donation, he must be referred appropriately for further management by the Blood Centre Medical Officer.

The blood or blood components collected from such individuals should be discarded.

Haemovigilance should continue to capture and analyse any adverse events which are associated with blood and blood component transfusion including post donation and post transfusion infections should be reported to Haemovigilance Programme of India (HvPI) of National Institute of Biologicals (NIB) with copies to representative State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC) and State Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and properly investigated.

National Blood Transfusion Council of India Director, Dr Shobini Rajan directed all states AIDS control societies and state blood transfusion councils to adapt the guidance.

"Requests have been received from several stakeholders engaged with managing blood centres and blood transfusion services regarding concerns with maintaining safety and adequacy of blood during this period of restricted gathering and social distancing," she said.

Rajan also said that blood centres world over are dependent on voluntary blood donation from healthy individuals to meet their blood supply. Since the demand for blood and blood components continues, especially for those patients depending on blood transfusions as a life saving measure like thalassemics, accident victims, pregnant women and critically sick patients, it is essential that the supply of safe blood continue to be maintained at licensed blood centres in the country.

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