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Jakarta Post

COVID-19: Medan Red Cross reports blood shortage, calls for donations

  • Apriadi Gunawan

    The Jakarta Post

Medan   /   Thu, April 9, 2020   /   07:02 pm
COVID-19: Medan Red Cross reports blood shortage, calls for donations An officer from the Jakarta office of the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) takes blood from a donor at the Jakarta PMI office on March 31. (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)

Blood supplies in Medan, North Sumatra, are running low as fewer people participate in blood drives as a result of the social distancing policy and the COVID-19 outbreak.

Medan Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) blood donation unit head Harry Butar-Butar said the unit currently had 500 bags of blood, while normally there should be 1,500 bags.

“People are reluctant to donate blood in the pandemic situation. This is alarming as many patients with diseases other than COVID-19, such as cancer and anemia, require the blood,” he said in a press briefing on Wednesday.

He urged the public not to ignore the importance of treating diseases other than COVID-19.

Harry encouraged residents not to be afraid to donate their blood during the outbreak as the Medan blood unit had implemented COVID-19 protective measures.

The measures, he explained, included limiting the number of donors entering the room, requiring donors to keep two meters away from each other and regulating inflow and outflow so that donors would not have to come in contact with one another.

Harry emphasized that donating blood would not reduce immunity; it could actually increase the body's immunity, he asserted.

"Blood donation has many health benefits. A healthy body will certainly increase immunity," he said, adding that people who routinely donated blood were less likely to develop high blood pressure, diabetes and other illnesses. (aly)