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Ho Chi Minh City faces serious blood dearth amid rising COVID-19 cases

Ho Chi Minh City faces serious blood dearth amid rising COVID-19 cases

Friday, July 23, 2021, 19:20 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City faces serious blood dearth amid rising COVID-19 cases
This image shows a woman making a blood donation at the Ho Chi Minh City Blood Transfusion Hematology Hospital. Photo: Thanh Hang / Tuoi Tre

Ho Chi Minh City has seen its blood reserves running dry as donation drives have been canceled due to multiple COVID-19 social distancing periods, with the latest being extended until August 1.

These days, the Ho Chi Minh City Blood Transfusion Hematology Hospital, which manages the city’s blood bank, receives only 30 to 50 blood bags, merely one-tenth of the amount of blood needed for some 150 hospitals in the city, including those treating COVID-19 patients, said Dr. Phu Chi Dung, director of the hospital, on Friday.

With an aim to curb the COVID-19 spread, the municipal administration has over the past few months applied many social distancing periods, during which people are required to go out only in necessary cases, among other epidemic prevention measures, the director said.

Given such restrictions, many blood donation activities have been canceled or postponed, Dr. Dung explained.

The blood reserves have therefore decreased over time and in the next seven days, they will drop to an alarming threshold of less than 3,000 blood bags, if there are no additional supply sources, the doctor warned.

A dearth of blood by group will occur, especially group O, in a few days to come, he added.

The hospital, as well as the municipal Humanitarian Blood Donation Center, hopes that health authorities will try to maintain their local blood donation schedules appropriately.

The city’s latest 15-day social distancing period, which was previously scheduled to end on Friday, has been extended to August 1 under a decision of the municipal authorities issued the same day.

The one-week extension is aimed at continuing to restrain the coronavirus spread that has recently caused thousands of infections in the city every day, the administration said.  

Since April 27, when the pandemic’s fourth wave erupted in Vietnam, the city has had over 48,800 infections, the municipal Center for Disease Control reported. 

The Ministry of Health on Friday morning confirmed 3,898 new COVID-19 infections, which have taken Vietnam’s tally to 78,269, including 13,421 recoveries, as recorded since early 2020.

Among the latest cases, 3,302 cases were detected in Ho Chi Minh City.

In this fourth wave, the Southeast Asian country has detected 74,570 domestic infections.

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Vinh Tho / Tuoi Tre News

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