Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
6 Sep 2021
11:44 am

New Covid variants increase demands for blood donations

Citizen Reporter

New strains placing pressure on global blood supply. One donation can save up to three lives.

Covid-19 vaccinations. Picture: AFP

The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) said it needs over 3 500 donors daily because the new Covid-19 variant is placing additional strain on the country’s blood supply.

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) is closely monitoring the behaviour of new variants – specifically the new C.1.2 mutation.

While the C.1.2 variant has been detected in eight of SA’s nine provinces, it’s also been detected in eight other countries around the world.

ALSO READ: Here’s how C.1.2 variant ‘behaves differently than Delta’ – Saphra

SANBS is now looking for more healthy donors to heed the call.

International NGO Intl WeLoveU Foundation, in association with the United National DGC, is intensifying the Worldwide One-Two Blood Drive in various locations globally in the hope that world supply will stabilise by month-end.

New Covid variants increase demands for blood donations
International calls for blood donations. Picture: Supplied

At least 70 participants from Johannesburg and Pretoria responded to the blood drive that took place at the Eastgate Shopping Centre on Sunday.

SANBS staff followed strict Covid measures by first examining if volunteers were healthy and symptom-free before they could donate blood.

At least 51 people successfully donated 22 950ml of blood.

ALSO READ: Donating blood saves lives but few South Africans are regular donors

Those who had symptoms such as coughing or fever were orientated to donate on another day.

Intl. WeLoveU Foundation said that one donation had the potential to save three lives.

Gauteng health department’s Bongani Makhubu added to that saying, “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle, so we lose nothing by sharing our blood with our neighbours.”

SANBS said it was encouraged “to see people who came to the mall just for a day of shopping, responding so positively to the call to donate“.

The Worldwide One-Two Blood Drive also took place in Cape Town this weekend and it’s heading to Durban on Wednesday.

It is hoped this initiative will increase people’s awareness of the importance of blood donations worldwide.