Blood Donation Falling amid Virus Crisis; Red Cross on Alert

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, March 4 (Jiji Press)--The outbreak of the new coronavirus in Japan is leading to a sharp decrease in blood donors as a string of events have been canceled, putting the Japanese Red Cross Society on alert over the situation.

The Red Cross is calling for blood donations, concerned that treatment of patients needing blood transfusions could be affected if the number of donors remains low at the current levels.

The number of blood donors have been decreasing across the country since the Japanese government called for large-scale events to be postponed on Feb. 18. In the five days from Feb. 25, when the government adopted a basic policy for tackling the new coronavirus, the number of donors was about 6,000 fewer than the target and the society was able to collect blood equivalent to only 87.7 pct of the planned level.

The society sends mobile blood donation units to companies and the sites of events to seek cooperation from people. But such blood donation campaigns have been or are to be canceled at more than 700 locations, due to companies starting to promote teleworking and events being called off amid the viral outbreak, according to the Red Cross.

"We continuously need blood donations from some 13,000 people a day because blood can't be stored for a long period," Masahiro Takikawa, an official of the organization, said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press