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April 1, 2020

SHC seeks comments on petition for relaxing lockdown restrictions on blood banks

Karachi

April 1, 2020

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday issued notices to the health department, additional health secretary and others on a petition seeking relaxation on restrictions imposed on the government-run and private blood banks during the ongoing lockdown to meet the shortage of blood for the patients of thalassaemia and other blood diseases.

The petitioner, M Tariq Mansoor, submitted in the petition that the availability of blood was necessary for the thousands of children and others who were suffering from thalassaemia, haemophilia and other diseases.

He submitted that the Sindh government had imposed a lockdown to contain the coronavirus pandemic, which started on March 22 and was likely to be continued till April 12.

He informed the SHC that there has been a severe shortage of blood donations as major sources of blood donations have been closed due to the lockdown and currently blood was needed to be injected to the thousands of thalassaemia, haemophilia and dialysis patients in Sindh, which has put their lives at stake.

He submitted that as per media reports, a majority of the blood banks in Karachi, such as the Fatimid Foundation, Hussaini Blood Bank and Muhammadi Blood Bank, were in extreme shortage of blood and they were going to run out of blood soon as blood donations to them had been decreased by 50 per cent due to the lockdown.

The petitioner submitted that patients would face severe hardships if the blood donation was not increased and necessary emergency steps not taken in the next one or two days.

The SHC was requested to direct the federal and provincial governments to take immediate steps to ensure the blood supply for the patients of thalassaemia, haemophilia and other diseases and grant exemption from lockdown restrictions to the certified blood banks so that they could organise blood donation collection points or camps so that blood may be collected from volunteers.

The petitioner said relaxing restrictions on the blood banks during the lockdown would help save lives and health of thousands of innocent children and other blood disease patients across Sindh, including Karachi.

The high court, after the preliminary hearing of the petition, issued notices to the Sindh advocate general, health department, additional health secretary and others and called their comments on April 3.