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Blood donation during COVID-19

11 May 2020

With limited time during Ramadan for blood donation, coupled with restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Blood Bank has witnessed a 40 per cent decline in number of blood donors. 

As Muscat Governorate needs 70–100 blood units daily, the Central Bank has given a call for donors to come forward and help save lives.

Dr Zainab bint Salim al Fanna al Araimi, director of Blood Banks Services at the Ministry of Health, said that blood donation campaigns are routinely organised, especially during Ramadan, in mosques and markets. However, in this current situation, the number of donors has decreased, as Muslims can only donate after breaking the fast and until midnight”. 

Dr Zainab pointed out that there are a large number of patients who need blood transfusion, including patients with genetic blood diseases, such as sickle cell anemia and thalassemia, patients with tumours or those involved in traffic accidents, as well as patients undergoing open surgeries. “Due to COVID-19 and the limited time during Ramadan for donation, we have noticed a reduction in the number of blood donors up to 40 per cent in the Central Blood Bank.” 

She assured that her department has taken all the necessary measures for the safety of donors in the Central Blood Bank during the coronavirus crisis. Moreover, an appointment system has been organised to avoid crowding through WhatsApp (94555648).

In addition, when entering the Department of Blood Banks Services, all individuals get a mask and gloves, and their body temperature is checked on entry. 

Furthermore, Dr Zainab said that Al Seeb Sports Complex has been prepared to receive a large number of blood donors, as the heavily populated Wilayat of Seeb acts as a great alternate for the Central Blood Bank during Ramadan.

(Blood donation timings in Ramadan: 8am to 1pm; 7pm to 12am.)

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