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Turkey: Coronavirus causes fall in blood donations

Blood donors decrease from 9,000 to 2,000 per day, affecting supply chain, says head of Turkish Red Crescent

Kaan Bozdogan   | 10.04.2020
Turkey: Coronavirus causes fall in blood donations

ISTANBUL

The number of blood donors in Turkey, which was nearly 9,000 per day, has fallen below 2,000 due to the coronavirus outbreak, the head of Turkish Red Crescent said Friday.

In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency, Dr. Kerem Kinik said although there was no decrease in the need for blood, the donations were falling.

Hence, the supply chain has been disturbed.

"We deliver at least 9,000 units of blood to over 1,500 hospitals in Turkey every day. And this necessity continues every day," he said.

The phenomenon, however, is not limited to Turkey but has been witnessed around the world.

"We had meetings with the heads of Red Cross in the Europe and Central Asia... Blood donation is decreasing everywhere. This is a serious risk to human health," said Kinik, who is also the vice president of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

The doctor called on the people to donate blood, reassuring them about the hygiene aspect.

"Blood centers are not hospitals. Healthy people work in our centers. Our doctors examine donors before taking blood, and determine if donors have any illnesses. So our environment is hygienic," he said.

He stressed that coronavirus is not transmitted through blood. It spreads through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.

*Writing by Fahri Aksut

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