New Delhi, March 20, 2021.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare and Chairman of the Indian Red Cross Society, National Headquarters inaugurated a Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT) Testing Facility at the IRCS NHQ Blood Centre. He also inaugurated three fully equipped vehicles, including two blood collection vans which would be used to hold blood camps and add blood units to the Red Cross Blood Centre.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan congratulated Red Cross on the fact that the 80 Indian Red Cross Blood Centres in the country had played a remarkable role in holding blood camps and collecting blood during the peak of COVID pandemic. Red Cross Blood Centres had remained operational and held camps in residential colonies and also provided transport to the donors to come and donate in the Red Cross Blood Centre.

The Minister pointed out that by introducing NAT tests instead of the conventional ELISA test, both the window period to detect infections and the residual risk of transfusion transmitted infections of HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C would be considerably reduced. The blood donation vehicles similarly would enhance Voluntary Blood Donation by reaching out to voluntary non-remunerated regular donation who are found to be safer than replacement donors.