NATIONAL NEWS - Ipeleng Thetela, Donor Relations Practitioner at the SANBS Polokwane, says the need for blood remains high even though residents spend their time at home.
“Many patients depend on us for their survival. During the lockdown, we will make our blood drives accessible to as many people as possible. Healthy members of the public will be allowed to travel to donate blood during the lockdown period.”
The blood donor centre will remain open with extended operating hours to accommodate social distancing measures. These hours will be between 08:00 to 19:00 on weekdays and 08:00 to 14:00 on weekends.
“Shopping mall donor centres remain accessible, and mobile drives will be set up at large grocery stores to accommodate more donors. Appointments can be made directly with your nearest donor centre to avoid queuing at the donor centre,” Thetela said.
The SANBS has taken precautionary measures to ensure that those who utilise the facilities are protected. They assess donors at all entry points to their facilities and mobile sites. All sites are also equipped with additional antiseptic sprays and alcohol-based wipes.
SANBS medical director, Dr Jackie Thomson assured donors’ safety.
“Our trained healthcare practitioners operating in the field have been equipped with the necessary information to identify symptoms that may indicate a Covid-19 infection, and should a donor not be feeling well, or exhibit any flu-like symptoms or signs of infection, they will not be permitted access our facilities.”
“As is normal practice when donating blood, we encourage donors to delay their blood donation if they are exhibiting any flu-like symptoms or signs of infection until they are in good health,” Thetela advised.