NEW DELHI

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Thalassemia patients have faced multiple challenges, including non-availability of blood, as most hospitals are denying treatment.

In order to address the issue, Indian Health Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated a new Thalassemia screening and counseling center in the capital New Delhi on Tuesday evening.

“There are around 270 million Thalassemia patients in the world. India has the largest number of children with Thalassemia major in the world, about 1 to 150,000, and about 10,000-15,000 children having Thalassemia major are born every year,” said the minister.

He further added that this initiative by the Indian Red Cross Society will provide an opportunity to administer adequate therapy to those affected, enabling them to lead a better life and preventing the birth of children affected with hemoglobinopathies.

Thalassemia major is a disease in which red cells synthesis is insufficient and with a short life span. The disease manifests early in childhood, mostly in the first year of life, and these patients require lifelong frequent blood transfusions to keep them alive.

Meanwhile, India’s COVID-19 cases have topped 2.76 million, according to the latest data released by the Ministry of Health on Wednesday. The death toll in the country now stands at 52,889.

India’s recovery rate continues to rise and now stands at 73.18%.

The Health Ministry said the positivity rate of COVID-19 has come down from 10.03% to 7.72% despite sustained level of testing.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), more than 31.74 million samples have been tested so far till Tuesday evening. As many as 801,518 samples were tested in a single day on Tuesday.

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