Dhenkanal: During these trying times of COVID-19 pandemic, blood donors here are in low spirits.
They allege that the blood units they are collecting and donating can no longer be administered to needy patients because the HIV testing machine at the blood bank has gone out of order.
The blood bank has three HIV testing machines. The usual practice is that the collected blood units undergo an HIV test and then only allowed for transfusion. But as of now, two of the three machines have developed some problems and stopped functioning. Similarly, another such machine procured over a year ago has also been lying dysfunctional since July 2.
According to some volunteers, organising blood donation camps is very difficult during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, they are organising such camps so that patients should not die from not getting blood in time. But their efforts are going down the drain as HIV test of the collected blood units cannot be performed as the machines are out of order.
“The recently procured machine has a warranty period. Yet, no step is being taken to get the machine repaired,” alleged the fumed volunteers.
When contacted, staff of the blood bank said though the mechanics have been contacted, they fail to turn up due to prevailing COVID-19 situation.
Meanwhile, District Citizen Forum vice-chairman Pankaj Kumar Nayak demanded a new HIV testing machine to be immediately provided to the blood bank.
When asked, chief district medical officer Dr Sujata Mishra said mechanics had visited the blood bank Wednesday. Quoting the mechanics she said some parts are to be replaced with new ones. After repairing, the machines will take one or two days to start performing.