As coronavirus continues to spread like wildfire in China, multiple blood banks in the country are feeling the hit.

The Financial Times believes at least seven provincial and municipal governments have seen fewer donors in the past few weeks. Reportedly, their inventories have shrunk to 16% of last year’s levels.

The rampaging virus is either keeping donors at home to evade infection or infecting them and disqualifying their blood status. To illustrate the severity of the transmission, it has been estimated that 40% of Beijing’s population of 22 million people have contracted COVID.

A resident who has just skipped her donation schedule said, “I am not going to do a public service at the expense of my health. I will do so when the outbreak is over.”

In Jiangsu province, the Times learned from a local health authority that blood donations this month have subtracted by more than half compared to the same period last year. Jiangsu is home to 80 million residents.

On December 13, the province’s blood center said its Type A blood reservoir would run out in three days, and five days for those of other types.

The facility said, “Our inventory has dropped below the safety level.”

In Shandong province, an official at the provincial blood center said their blood reserve had been 16% compared to December 2021. Donations per day have plummeted to 20,000 ml from last year’s 100,000 – 120,000 ml.

According to Caixin, blood centers in Yunnan, Shanxi, Jiangxi, Fujian, Zhejiang, and Gansu provinces have successively announced an emergency in blood supplies over the past week.

Yunnan’s blood bank on December 12 said it needed about 500 donors per day to solve its acute blood shortage. The center said this situation could hinder the rescue efforts of vulnerable populations, such as pregnant women and critically ill patients. 

The Times reported that the Chinese government allowed some infected residents to donate blood seven days after testing negative for the virus. This is a significant time cut compared to the previous demand of at least six months.

Chinese officials are also suggesting doctors prioritize inventories for important surgeries. One Shandong province’s blood center official said, “It is up to the doctor to decide when the surgery should be conducted and how badly it requires blood transfusion.”

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.