Jakarta – The Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) has seen a 50 percent decrease in its blood supply amid rising demand and fewer blood donations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization's head Jusuf Kalla said.
"The PMI's blood stock has decreased 50 percent, even though the demand for blood is rising," Kalla said on Tuesday as reported by kompas.com.
He further explained that some COVID-19 patients, especially those with comorbidities, needed blood transfusion.
"Some COVID-19 patients need blood [transfusion] due to their comorbidity, however, we have seen fewer people donating blood due to the pandemic," he said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has deterred potential blood donors, as people, institutions and communities canceled appointments for blood donations over fear of contagion.
Kalla reassured the public that donating blood amid the pandemic was safe as PMI had implemented strict health protocols to prevent COVID-19 transmission during the process.
"I urge the public not to be wary of donating blood amid the pandemic," he said.
Both the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) say the risk of COVID-19 transmission through the transfusion of blood and components is likely minimal, as the virus primarily targets the respiratory system. (nal)