Blood donors get free Covid-19 self-test kit

Coming forward: Blood donors helping to replenish supplies during the drive at Ng Yam Huat Hall in Bukit Mertajam.

BUTTERWORTH: In a move akin to killing two birds with one stone, a blood donation drive here has helped replenish blood supplies while enabling more extensive detection of Covid-19 at the same time.

Every blood donor at the Butterworth Buddhist Association in Mak Mandin was given a Covid-19 self-test kit for free.

Not only that, they were also eligible to buy additional self-test kits at RM10 each, said Penang welfare, caring society and environment committee chairman Phee Boon Poh.

He said the association had managed to collect 188 packets of blood during the campaign yesterday, with Penang Hospital and Seberang Jaya Hospital receiving 124 and 64 bags, respectively.

“Blood banks throughout the country have recorded a drop in stock because people are afraid to attend blood donation campaigns due to the pandemic.

“An anonymous businessman decided to sponsor the self-test kits in the hope of attracting more people to come out to donate blood.

“We also pleaded for blood donors in our database to return,” he said at the association’s premises.

The beds and equipment were sanitised after every use, while the donors were spread out across the hall with strict standard operating procedure in place.

Attending to the donors were nurses who donned full personal protective suits.

Regular blood donor Cheah Suat Li, 50, said she bought additional Covid-19 self-test kits.

“I bought three more for my family. It saved us from buying similar kits which are priced higher in the market.

“We can use them whenever we need to. Detecting Covid-19 early helps to break the chain of infection, and we appreciate what the association is doing for the community,” she said.

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