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Red Cross Running Out Of Blood Reserve

The Nepal Red Cross Society now faces a severe shortage of blood due to cancellation of a number of blood donation programmes owing to the coronavirus outbreak. Healthy individuals are needed now to donate blood to help patients counting on lifesaving blood.

As the coronavirus pandemic has grown in Nepal, halt in blood donation drive has induced the shortage of blood and relatives of many patients are compelled to return empty handed from the blood bank.

According to Nepal Red Cross Society, blood transfusion centres of major cities including Kathmandu, Dharan, Biratnagar, Chitwan are facing the shortage of blood. Divya Raj Poudel, communication director of Nepal Red Cross Society (NRS) said. According to the Society, donors cannot donate blood due to prohibitory order in shutdown in many areas across the country. Pawan Gupta, director of Kathmandu-based Central Blood Transfusion Centre, informed that on Thursday a total 61 visitors to the centre seeking blood for their patients were compelled to return without blood. Likewise, on Friday 26 visitors returned empty handed.

According to Gupta, relatives of patients of heart, cancer, bleeding, accidents, kidney problems, hemophilia and other diseases and those who require to undergo urgent operations are seeking blood but forced to return with empty hands. The Bhaktapur branch which has set a slogan “Go to Bhaktapur when you are in need of blood” has also faced shortage in stock of blood while it is unable to run blood collection camps for the last 13 days. However, on Saturday morning the centre ran a camp at Sudal with the consent of local administration and the local government where 24 males and two females donated blood.

Director of the centre, Poudel said if blood camp could run in small group in coordination with the local government, it will be easy in this crisis. The society asked with regular blood donors and youths to donate blood from nearer blood collection centre from their settlements. Likewise, it has also asked blood seekers to contact and request friends, family and other relatives in this crisis. There is no data or evidence that this corona virus can be transmitted by blood transfusion, and there have been no reported cases of transfusion transmission for any respiratory virus including this coronavirus worldwide, World Health Organisation (WHO) stated. 

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