|A medical worker at the Đống Đa General Hospital cleans their hands to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The virus has led to a severe shortage of blood. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Ngọc|
HÀ NỘI — The country’s shortage of blood has been exacerbated by the continuing coronavirus epidemic, according to the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion (NIHBT).
The NIHBT said that hospitals needed 1,500 units of blood per day, whereas the NIHBT received only 226 units of blood in the 10 days from January 23 to February 1.
The institute forecast that the shortage could last for some weeks, seriously affected blood supply for 170 hospitals in 25 provinces and cities which the institute manages.
The same problem was also reported in HCM City, Huế, Đà Nẵng and Cần Thơ.
Before the Tết (Lunar New Year) festival, blood donation centres across the country collected a great amount of blood thanks to donors through the Red Sunday programme. The programme was organised by the Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper, in co-ordination with the National Traffic Safety Committee and other organisations and universities.
However, after the long holiday, the blood amount in storage has become exhausted and can no longer meet demand for emergency aid and treatment.
Many blood donation events were organised, however, they have been postponed or cancelled due to the outbreak of coronavirus from China.
According to the NIHBT, the institute can collect several hundred units of blood per day, whereas as many as 2,500-3,000 units of blood are needed per day to supply to hospitals in Hà Nội and HCM City, not including other provinces and cities across the country.
Deputy director of the NIHBT Phạm Tuấn Dương said that the institute had sent a letter to the Ministry of Health to call for more blood donors together with conducting measures to prevent and control coronavirus.
The NIHBT encourages residents to donate blood, especially those of types O and A.
Blood can be donated at the NIHBT office on Phạm Văn Bạch Street in Cầu Giấy District from 8am to 8pm all days of the week. Blood donors can go to 26 Lương Ngọc Quyến Street in Hoàn Kiếm District, 132 Quan Nhân Street in Thanh Xuân District and 10 Alley 122 Láng Street in Đống Đa District from 8am to 5pm from Monday to Saturday.
The full list of blood donation sites is available on www.nihbt.org.vn/Home/DiemHM. — VNS