Pratima Mukherjee is in dire need of four units of AB-positive blood. The 31-year-old resident of a village near Kharagpur, in West Bengal, has cancer and requires regular blood transfusions, but the lockdown ordered by the central government following the COVID-19 pandemic has made this difficult. Biswajit Pandit, her brother, has visited multiple blood banks in Kharagpur and Kolkata, but has been unable to procure blood. “The extension of the lockdown till the beginning of May will make it even more difficult,” he told me.
Ashok Singh, a native of Darbhanga in Bihar, is undergoing dialysis and required two units of A-positive blood on 12 April. “The blood bank at the Darbhanga Medical College hospital is shut because the entire system has reoriented towards COVID-19,” Prabhakar Kumar, his son-in-law, told me. “The others that I tried insisted that the blood must be procured fresh from his relatives.” Singh’s son and another relative donated a unit each. He had a dialysis appointment at Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences on 21 March, but had to postpone it once the janata curfew was announced for the following day. The family had to settle for treatment at a private hospital in Darbhanga.
Kiran Kumar, a resident of Ongole in Andhra Pradesh, needs a unit of blood for his niece, who is about to deliver a child. “She needs A-negative, which is a rare group in any case, and the lockdown makes it more difficult,” he said. “We went to three blood banks, but didn’t find any.” He has circulated the details on social media, hoping someone will help.