New Delhi: The Union Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan welcomed and greeted dedicated Red Cross warriors from all over India at the Video conference held today at Nirman Bhawan. While addressing them, the Minister gave details of efforts made by the Government to deal with COVID-19. Representatives of Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) from Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Telangana, Delhi and Karnataka apprised the Minister about the activities undertaken by their respective branches. The Secretary General of IRCS Shri R.K.Jain was present in person at the VC.
Speaking on the occasion Union Minister said, “I may like to state that India was the first country in the world to respond to COVID-19 crisis without wasting any time. It was India which responded proactively to China’s first disclosure about Corona Virus to the world. On the very next day India initiated steps to monitor the situation and first Joint Monitoring Group meeting was held. A Group of Ministers under my Chairmanship was also constituted by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to take important decisions as per the evolving situation. This was enough to set the tone for a highly spirited war against fatal virus across the country.”
He said that “India was the front runner in leading the onslaught against the COVID-19 pandemic and it took all the precautionary measures which could ideally be foreseen – like screening at Airports, Ports, Land borders with neighbouring countries, surveillance and contact tracing. He further stated that all International flights were instructed not to land at all airports in India with effect from early morning 23 March 2020 .
Union Minister further said that, “earlier the COVID-19 samples were sent to US for testing which took lot of time for results, but during the present crisis India has developed around 200 labs for testing samples. Apart from this India imposed Lockdown at the right time to stop the spread of the dreaded virus. 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.
He further exhorted them 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 point of time. Union Minister said that he had also written to State Health Ministers to promote Voluntary blood donation.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan exhorted IRCS to contact recovered COVID-19 patients to come forward for blood donation, from which convalescent plasma could be used for transfusion to the Corona affected patients for their early recovery. The IRCS may like to take up this at the earliest so that the blood collected from the recovered patients could be used for transfusion for the benefit of Corona patients.
“I really value Indian Red Cross fraternity having given a great contribution in our fight against COVID-19. In fact the contribution is appreciable for providing equipments, sanitizers, food, PPE kits and N95 masks etc. for hospitals.” Union Health Minister stated this while interacting with the Red Cross members across the country through Video Conferencing (VC) with an aim to involve them to assist in involving more and more concerned people in the fight against COVID-19.
The Secretary General of IRCS Shri R.K.Jain said “Once again the Red Crossers are here to express their firm commitment to work with Government of India in overcoming this challenge of mitigating effects of COVID-19. We all have to rise to the occasion to work together to defeat COVID-19 which has spread across 215 countries in the world.” He further informed “Indian Red Cross 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. The Mission of the Indian Red Cross is to inspire, encourage and initiate at all times all forms of humanitarian activities so that human suffering can be minimized.”
At the end, Dr. Harsh Vardhan thanked all who attended the VC and exhorted them to keep up the good work and fight tirelessly against COVID-19.