DOH issues special passes for blood donors as blood supply slumps in pandemic
Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News
Posted at May 21 2021 03:27 PM | Updated as of Jun 14 2021 06:49 PM
MANILA— The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday said it has been issuing special passes for blood donors as the government seeks to encourage more people to donate blood during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The passes are meant to make going to blood banks easier for donors, said Marites Estrella, program manager of the DOH National Voluntary Blood Services Program.
"Mula sa inyong bahay papunta sa blood services facilities, ipapakita niyo lang po ito sa inyong madadaanan kung kayo po ay kailangan nilang kunan ng impormasyon kung saan kayo pupunta," she said.
(You can show this if you're asked to present an ID or information when going to and from your house and blood service facilities.)
LOOK: DOH issues pseudo-quarantine passes for blood donors going to blood donation facilities as the Philippines looks to address the decrease in blood donations during the #COVID19
pandemic. pic.twitter.com/kkfwIRU5sD — Kat Domingo (@_katrinadomingo) May 21, 2021
The government is also offering free shuttle services for blood donors in certain areas, she said.
Special arrangements had to be made to address the decrease in supply in blood banks as several blood drives were suspended due to the pandemic, Estrella said.
Blood donation in 2020 dropped to 1.04 million units, from the 1.38 million collected in June, she said.
Supply remains stable as hospitals and doctors are trying to reschedule operations that are not that urgent, she said.
Blood banks in other regions also send bags to Metro Manila hospitals that are in need of more supply, she said.
Blood donors are not required to present RT-PCR tests as they are pre-screened via phone calls before they are allowed to come to facilities, Estrella said.
"Sa hospital blood bank natin, papasok lang doon ang mga walang sakit," she said.
(Only those who are not sick are allowed to enter hospital blood banks.)
"'Yung ating mga staff... sila ay healthy individuals din," she said.
(Our staff are also healthy individuals.)
Estrella urged the public to donate blood at least once a year, noting that thousands of Filipinos are in need of blood with or without the COVID-19 pandemic.
"You're giving the gift to save others' lives. Sa isang donation mo, 3 times ka makakasagip ng buhay," she said.
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