Red Cross appeals for more blood donations

Blood donors at Bloodbank @Dhoby Ghaut yesterday. Donations can also be made at the blood banks at the Health Sciences Authority in Outram, Woodlands and Westgate Tower, as well as at community blood drives across the island.
Blood donors at Bloodbank @Dhoby Ghaut yesterday. Donations can also be made at the blood banks at the Health Sciences Authority in Outram, Woodlands and Westgate Tower, as well as at community blood drives across the island.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Stocks have fallen to critical levels as donors stay away amid virus outbreak

Appeals are being made for more blood donors as national stocks are running low amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Fears over the outbreak appear to be deterring donors from visiting blood banks and supplies have taken a serious hit.

The Singapore Red Cross noted last Friday that stocks for the common blood types A+, B+, O+ and AB+ were at critical levels and donations were "urgently" needed.

One of those who came forward over the weekend was Culture, Community and Youth Minister Grace Fu, who shared a photo of herself and a fellow donor at a donation drive in Clementi Community Centre yesterday.

Ms Fu said in her Facebook post that it was her 28th blood donation and the other donor in her photo was also a regular.

Education Minister Ong Ye Kung also called for the public to come forward to donate blood in a social media post on Saturday.

"Unfortunately, the current Covid-19 situation has led to fewer donors at the blood banks. But patients in hospitals still need our blood," he wrote on Facebook.

Mr Ong encouraged those who are healthy to donate blood at the Singapore Red Cross.

"Doing so ensures our neighbours, our colleagues, our loved ones who may require blood transfusions can continue to receive medical treatment, especially during these tough times," he said.

Mr Ong's sentiments were echoed by Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin, who also appealed to the online community on Saturday.

He shared a photo of the Singapore Red Cross' appeal for blood donations and additional precautionary measures that have been put in place as a result of the virus outbreak.

"Blood continues to be in critical need every day. Let's do what we can," Mr Tan wrote.

 

Screening for symptoms such as fever, cough and runny nose has been put in place at blood donation sites since Feb 7.

The public can call the Singapore Red Cross on 6220-0183 to check their donor eligibility, or take a donor eligibility quiz online.

Blood donations can be made at the blood banks at the Health Sciences Authority in Outram, Dhoby Ghaut, Woodlands and Westgate Tower, as well as at community blood drives across the island.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 17, 2020, with the headline 'Red Cross appeals for more blood donations'. Print Edition | Subscribe