India better prepared this year to beat COVID-19 compared to 2020: Harsh Vardhan

By PTI
NEW DELHI: India is better prepared mentally and physically this year with more experience to beat the COVID-19 pandemic as compared to 2020, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Tuesday.

He made while inaugurating a series of blood donation camps at 13 locations in Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh through a webinar in the presence of Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur, a health ministry statement said.

The camps are being organised by the Competent Foundation with the help of various associations, NGOs and blood banks in wake of fulfilling the blood requisition due to COVID-19 pandemic, it said.

Addressing the webinar, Vardhan appreciated the efforts of the foundation to organise blood donation camps with more strength and expansion for fulfilling the blood requirement due to the pandemic.

He exhorted people to at least donate blood once a year on their birthdays as it is a big help for humanity.

He said that in his opinion, donating blood is even more pious than visiting revered holy places, the statement said.

Vardhan said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the largest vaccination drive in the world in January, which is now being accelerated further as the vaccination of young people is about to begin from May 1.

He also said that in 2021, the country is better prepared mentally and physically with more experience to beat the pandemic as compared to last year, the statement stated.

He appreciated the fact that this blood donation camp has been set up following all COVID protocols, guidelines and SOPs.

He said that the blood donation drive is being done before vaccination of youth which is commendable as after being vaccinated it is advisable to not donate blood for 2 months.

President of Competent Foundation Sanjay Tandon said this year the foundation decided to organise blood donation camps beyond Chandigarh tricity in 13 different locations across the region with more strength in the wake of fulfilling the blood requirement during the COVID pandemic, the statement stated.

He appealed that in the middle of coronavirus epidemic, blood donation has become more important because supply of blood has become extremely difficult.