A Baguio Country Club employee takes part in a bloodletting activity led by the Philippine Red Cross’ Baguio City chapter on April 16.
The STAR/Andy Zapata
'We're very challenged': DOH says blood supply nearing critical level amid COVID-19 crisis
Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - July 9, 2020 - 3:56pm

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s blood supply is approaching the “critical level,” the Department of Health said as it urged local governments to help look for blood donors in their localities.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has limited the conduct of blood donation activities in the country.

“We are very challenged dahil alam naman natin na ang pagkuha o itong voluntary blood donation program, medyo nagkaroon tayo ng pagbaba ng nagbibigay dahil na dito sa ating hinaharap sa sitwasyon ngayon,” Vergeire said in an interview on DZMM Teleradyo Thursday.

(We are very challenged because we have seen a decrease in the number of donors in voluntary blood donation programs because of the situation right now.)

“Meron pa namang natitira. Ang sinasabi lang natin ‘yung critical level aabutin na natin but there is still supply of blood na nandyan pa sa Philippine Blood Center and other blood center in the country. Ang sa atin lang ayaw nating aabot tayo sa level na talagang walang wala na,” she added.

(There’s still supply left. What we’re saying is we are nearing the critical level but there is still supply of blood at the Philippine Blood Center and other blood centers in the country. We just do not want to reach the level where we will have no supply.)

The health official appealed to local government units to help find regular blood donors in their areas.

The Philippine Red Cross earlier said the shortage of blood supply could endanger the lives of patients, including accident victims.

“Amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in our country, there are persons in hospitals now who are badly in need of blood transfusions like cancer patients, accident victims, people with blood disorders, mothers who are giving birth, and so many others, and with a limited supply of blood nationwide, we are in danger of running out,” Sen. Richard Gordon, PRC chairman, said last month.

In an interim guidance released in March, the World Health Organization said blood collection activities may need to be organized on a “more targeted basis” through recall of healthy repeat doctors.

The COVID-19 has so far infected 50,359 people in the Philippines, with 1,314 deaths.

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