Donors can’t catch virus

People are encouraged to donate blood.

The Western Cape Blood Service has moved to reassure blood donors that they can’t catch the coronavirus by giving blood.

The blood bank doesn’t test for the coronavirus (Covid-19), but it says it can’t be transmitted through a blood transfusion as respiratory viruses are generally not known to be transmitted by donation or transfusion.

According to the service, blood donor screening, including travel self-deferrals, are in place to prevent individuals who may be at risk of clinical respiratory infections from donating blood.

The service is experiencing a critical shortage of 0- and B+ blood groups and has urged health donors belonging to those blood groups to donate.

“We anticipate added pressure on the blood supply during Easter, Ramadaan and the winter months and the added effects of the coronavirus could see the number of eligible donors decrease in the following few months,” said spokeswoman Michelle Vermeulen. 

Those feeling unwell or exhibiting any clinical symptoms of infection (fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat and shortness of breath), should delay donating blood until they are in good health.

Call 021 507 6300 or visit www.wcbs.org.za for more information.