ISLAMABAD-President Dr. Arif Alvi urged the youth to come forward and donate blood to treat thalassemia patients in the testing times of coronavirus outbreak.

Speaking at a ceremony, after visiting Thalassemia Centre here at F-9 Park, the President said problems for children suffering from thalassemia have increased in the wake of closure of the public transport due to coronavirus crisis.

In this regard, the President said, he contacted health ministers of Punjab and Sindh and urged them to search for blood donors and arrange supplies for thalassemia patients.

He said he has advised all the provincial governments and other relevant agencies to look for donors to facilitate thalassemia patients as they frequently need blood transfusion.

He urged blood donors to visit the blood donation centres and give blood to save thalassemia patients.

The president, on the occasion, talked to the children suffering from thalassemia and distributed gifts among them.

He said suspension of inter-city transport also affected the treatment of children who came from far-flung areas.

President Alvi stressed the need for observing necessary precautions to help control spread of coronavirus as more exposure meant more administration of anti-viral dosage.

He expressed confidence that Pakistan would soon overcome the challenge of the infectious disease.

The President said motivation of volunteer donors during the ongoing situation was important to save the lives of thalassemic children that solely depended on regular blood transfusion.

Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder characterised by decreased production of haemoglobin and thus needs regular blood transfusion from a healthy person.

Meanwhile, President Dr. Arif Alvi has advised people to stay home and offer Zuhar instead of Friday prayer in order to prevent spread of coronavirus.

In a tweet, he said doctors across the world are supporting social distancing to discourage spread of the virus.

He also prayed for good health and long life of the people, while maintaining social distancing.