KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 — The supply of blood in the country is still sufficient at a safe level so far, said National Blood Centre director Dr Noryati Abu Amin.
However, she said the National Blood Centre and other blood centres are still in need of blood donors to continue replenishing blood stock at an optimum level all the time.
According to her, blood donation is still available during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period as the activity is considered an essential service under the Health Ministry for the treatment of patients.
While it cannot be denied that blood donation throughout the country would be affected following COVID-19 and the enforcement of MCO, Dr Noryati said various efforts including stepping up promotions via social media as well as extending the operation hours at collection centres have been carried out.
“So far, the supply of all types of blood is sufficient, however many blood donation campaigns were cancelled over fears that the people maybe infected with Covid-19 which also caused a drop in the number of donors,” she told Bernama.
Dr Noryati added that several additional measures were taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19 when individuals came to donate blood, among them was limiting the number of donors at a location at any one time.
“Apart from that, measures such as social distancing and practice of good hygiene especially washing hands with soap and water as well as providing initial screening such as checking body temperature and inquiring the travel history of the donor, she said.
In this regard, she urged the people to continue donating blood regularly to ensure the supply of blood is always at a safe level.
“Having an adequate supply of blood at all time is very important to treat patients such as emergency victims, expecting mothers who may experience bleeding complications during delivery, cancer and thalassemia patients as well as patients undergoing major surgeries,” she said.
Members of the public can donate blood at three locations in the Klang Valley namely PDN in Jalan Tun Razak on Monday to Friday from 7.30 am to 8 pm and on Saturday and Sunday, from 8 am to 6 pm.
Besides that, the National Blood Centre Donation Suite in Midvalley Megamall starts its operations daily from 10 am to 5 pm while the Puspanita Blood Donation Suite in Putrajaya operates from Tuesday to Friday from 10 am to 7 pm and on weekends from 9 am to 6 pm.
Meanwhile, the blood supply at the Blood Centre of Tuanku Ja’afar Hospital Seremban is also sufficient, said Negeri Sembilan Health acting director Dr Mohammad Faid Abd Rashid.
Speaking to Bernama, he said the centre has enough blood for patients,
“During the MOC period, the centre is still operating on Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 3 pm and on Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4.30 pm.
“The supply of blood however depends on healthy and non-risky donors who have to adhere to the regulations of the hospital,” he said.
Dr Mohammad Faid said those who display Covid-19 symptoms or have just returned from abroad or have close contact with suspected Covid-19 cases would not be allowed to donate blood. — Bernama