MANILA - The Philippine Blood Center on Friday appealed for help, saying supply in the blood bank dwindled after most donors were forced to stay at home after Luzon was placed on a lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Supply declined after partner agencies that usually sponsor blood donation drives, like schools and offices, had to temporarily cease operations during the month-long enhanced community quarantine, Philippine Blood Center Medical Officer III Dr. April Andal told DZMM.
"Sobrang kaunti po dahil nag cancel 'yung mobile blood donations natin dahil sa pagtigil ng pasok ng mga estudyante, pagsasara ng mga kumpaniya at siyempre, bawal na lumabas ang mga tao," Andal said, without disclosing how many bags of blood are left in their center.
(There is very little supply because mobile blood donations have been canceled after schools and offices had to close as people were barred from going outside.)
"Dahil bumababa ang supply, nag-release tayo ng panawagan na sana patuloy pa din silang magdonate ng dugo," she said.
(Because of the drop in supply, we are calling on the public to continue donating blood.)
Andal assured potential donors that COVID-19 cannot be transmitted through blood transfusions.
"Hindi po siya (COVID-19) nasasalin via blood donation, via blood transfusion so wag po tayo matakot," she said.
(COVID-19 cannot be transmitted via blood donation, via blood transfusion so do not be afraid to donate.)
"Huwag po sila matakot magdonate ng dugo kasi hindi po nauubos yung mga pasyente natin na nangangailangan," she said.
(They should not be afraid to donate because we never run out of patients who need blood donations.)
Among those who need blood donations are pregnant women, patients undergoing operations and those who were badly injured in accidents.
Donors will be fetched by regularly-sanitized vehicles from their homes as public transportation remains suspended under the lockdown, the doctor said.
"Marami po tayong extra precaution para ma-ensure ang mga donors natin na hindi sila magkakasakit pag nag donate sila ng dugo," Andal said.
(We have a lot of extra precaution to ensure that donors will not fall ill after donating blood.)
"Wala pong admitted na pasyente sa aming institusyon. Kami po ay COVID-free," she said.
(We don't have any admitted patients in our institution. We are COVID-free.)
Fear gripped some parts of the country after the highly-contagious disease infected 707 patients in the Philippines, with 45 fatalities and 28 recoveries nationwide.
The Philippines is under a state of calamity as the government finds ways to contain the spread of the disease while a vaccine has yet to be developed.