Assemblyman urges public to donate blood as supply runs low

The public waiting for their turn to get a check-up before donating blood at a mall in Johor Baru. — THOMAS YONG/The Star

JOHOR BARU: A Johor assemblyman is urging the public to step forward and help hospitals here replenish blood supplies that have been running low for months.

Johor Jaya assemblyman Liow Cai Tung said among the reasons for the low blood supply in hospitals here was because of the cancellation of blood donation campaigns in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Many organisers have either postponed or cancelled their blood donation drives because of the pandemic.

“On top of that, people are also reluctant to go to hospitals or blood banks to donate their blood now as they are afraid that they will be exposed to Covid-19.

“This has led to hospitals around the country, including in Johor, to have a low supply of blood for patients, ” she noted.

She said this when met during a blood drive organised by Johor Jaya assemblyman’s office along with Hospital Sultanah Aminah and five other organisations as well as companies.

She added that the current conditional movement control order (MCO) and previous phases of the MCO had made it difficult for people to go out to donate blood.

“Some of the hospitals here were also supplying blood to other states, such as Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, which have been under the conditional MCO for a longer period of time.

“When Johor was also placed under the conditional MCO, there were concerns that it would be more difficult for us to replenish our blood supply, ” she said.

On the event, Liow said it was supposed to be held a few months ago but was postponed because of the MCO.

“We decided to carry out the event despite the conditional MCO as the hospital’s supply of blood has rapidly declined and they are in immediate need of more blood.

“However, we are following the standard operating procedures (SOP) closely, including observing physical distancing and limiting the number of people, ” she said.

She added that they had limited the number of people at the open space of the mall to only 50 at one time.

“We aim to have 120 packs of blood from this donation drive.

“For those who missed out on the event and want to contribute, I urge them to go to the hospitals and donate blood there, ” she said.

Also present at the event was Tebrau MP Steven Choong who hoped more people would do their part to assist healthcare providers by donating blood.

The event, which took place over five hours, collected a total of 130 packs of blood.

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