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Hunting for blood

Arief Suhardiman

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Thu, January 14, 2021  /  12:43 pm
Hunting for blood

‘Leaf of life’: Each person who has donated his or her blood 75 times has the right to write their names on the leaves of a tree located at the lobby of the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) in Jakarta. (JP/Arief Suhardiman)

The pandemic is showing no sign of slowing down, and it is draining blood supplies badly needed to help the victims.

In Jakarta, blood supplies donated to the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI), which usually receives around 1,000 blood bags a day, have sharply declined.

Caring: Donors have blood taken at the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) in Jakarta.Caring: Donors have blood taken at the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) in Jakarta. (JP/Arief Suhardiman)

“Now the best we can get is only around 100 to 200 bags a day,” said a staff member at PMI Jakarta.

Some COVID-19 patients, especially those with comorbidities, needed blood transfusions, but the pandemic has deterred potential blood donors, as people, institutions and communities have canceled appointments for blood donations over fears of contracting the virus.

Both the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) say the risk of COVID-19 transmission through the transfusion of blood and components is likely minimal, as the virus primarily targets the respiratory system.(ste)

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