Gov’t urges public to donate blood amid nationwide shortage

As the country marked World Blood Donor Day Tuesday, the government urged the public to help top up Taiwan's blood banks amid an acute nationwide shortage.

According to the Department of Medical Affairs under the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW), Taiwan's blood reserves are currently down to an average of 4.5 days - well below the officially designated safe level of seven to 10 days.

Based on Taiwan Blood Services Foundation (TBSF) statistics as of Monday, type A and type O blood are in the shortest supply, with only 4.3 days of reserves on average nationwide, followed by type B blood at 5.1 days, and type AB at 5.5 days, the department said in a statement.

Due to COVID-19, getting people to go out to donate blood has not been easy, with the situation made worse by the recent domestic outbreak and bad weather, the department said.

To ensure the safety of blood use, the MOHW has asked recent arrivals to Taiwan to wait 14 days after entering the country before donating blood.

The MOHW added that the same guidelines should be followed by those who have come into contact with individuals testing positive for COVID-19.

Individuals who catch COVID-19 must also wait 14 days from the date of their last positive test before giving blood.

Separately on Tuesday, Meta Platforms said people who are willing to donate blood can use Facebook to find the nearest location where such service is provided.

According to Meta, the parent company of Facebook, the "Blood Donations" feature was launched in 2017 and since then over 145 million users worldwide have registered as blood donors.

Working in collaboration with the TBSF, the company said more than 300,000 Facebook users in Taiwan had registered as blood donors using the feature in the past two years.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel