NATIONAL NEWS - The Western Cape Blood Service (WCBS) assures donors that donating blood is safe.
In a statement this week, it says there is currently no reason to suspect that Covid-19 can be transmitted through blood transfusion.
“This is based on the fact that respiratory viruses, in general, are not known to be transmitted by blood transfusion.”
The routine blood donor health assessment measures that are already in place, will prevent individuals with clinical respiratory infections from donating blood.
Donors must be in good health on the day of donating and not be subject to any risk factors, therefore the WCBS asks blood donors to refrain from donating if they have recently travelled outside SA borders, have lived with someone infected with the virus or have been diagnosed or is suspected of having the Covid-19 virus.
“As part of our daily protocols, our staff take hand hygiene seriously. They wash hands before and after helping someone, besides sanitising hands regularly. Hand sanitiser and wet wipes will also be available at every clinic for donors to use.”
Promotions and planning manager Michelle Vermeulen says they anticipate added pressure over Easter, Ramadaan and the winter months, and added pressure from the coronavirus could lead to few eligible donors in the months to come.
The WCBS is currently experiencing a shortage of O and B blood groups. They urge all healthy blood donors belonging to all blood groups to continue donating blood to ensure that their stock levels are adequate during this challenging time.
The WCBS says anyone with any clinical symptoms of infection like fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath, should seek medical attention or contact the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NCID) hotline on 0800 029 999.
It also stresses that, should donors develop coronavirus infection within 28 days of donating blood, they must urgently contact the WCBS medical staff on 021 507 6319 or 507 6320. Click here for more information.
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