Your blood can save someone's life and blood donation is considered one of the most sacred acts. However, as Coronavirus is affecting the lives of many people all over the globe, there seems to be a drastic drop in blood donations leaving medical professionals under stress.
Approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the US and in an attempt to avoid the blood shortage and to get the necessary blood supply, the American Red Cross is encouraging healthy, eligible individuals to donate their blood.
Can Coronavirus get transmit through blood donation?
The American Red Cross, in an official statement, has claimed that there is no data or evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted by blood transfusion as no such cases have been reported so far. It was the same case when SARS and MERS-CoV emerged.
They have also said that routine blood donor screening measures – which may include travel deferrals – are already in place in an attempt to prevent individuals with clinical respiratory infections from donating blood.
However, despite coming forward with this statement, as a precaution, the Red Cross has asked individuals to postpone their donation for 28 days if they have traveled to China, Hong Kong, Macau, Iran, Italy, and South Korea. People, who had contact with a person who has the COVID-19 virus or suspected to have it are also currently restricted to donate their blood.
It is understood that these measures are taken to ensure a safe environment for donors. It has to be noted that many blood donation drives have also been cancelled across the globe in the wake of the virus outbreak.
Coronavirus in the US
As on Monday, March 16, a total of 3,802 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported from different states in the US with 69 deaths. Following the novel coronavirus outbreak in the country, President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency in the country on Friday, March 13.