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Coronavirus leads to blood shortage for hospitals

The shortage of blood has been exacerbated by the continuing coronavirus epidemic, according to the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion (NIHBT).

The NIHBT said that hospitals needed 1,500 units of blood per day, whereas the NIHBT received only 226 units of blood in the 10 days from January 23 to February 1.

The institute forecast that the shortage could last for some weeks, seriously affected blood supply for 170 hospitals in 25 provinces and cities which the institute manages.

The same problem was also reported in Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Da Nang and Can Tho.

Before the Tet (Lunar New Year) festival, blood donation centres across the country collected a great amount of blood thanks to donors through the Red Sunday programme. The programme was organised by the Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper, in coordination with the National Traffic Safety Committee and other organisations and universities.

However, after the long holiday, the blood amount in storage has become exhausted and can no longer meet demand for emergency aid and treatment.

Many blood donation events were organised, however, they have been postponed or cancelled due to the outbreak of coronavirus from China.

According to the NIHBT, the institute can collect several hundred units of blood per day, whereas as many as 2,500-3,000 units of blood are needed per day to supply to hospitals in Hanoi and HCM City, not including other provinces and cities across the country.

NIHBT Deputy Director Pham Tuan Duong said that the institute had sent a letter to the Ministry of Health to call for more blood donors together with conducting measures to prevent and control coronavirus.

The NIHBT encourages residents to donate blood, especially those of types O and A.

Blood can be donated at the NIHBT office on Pham Van Bach street in Cau Giay district from 8am to 8pm all days of the week. Blood donors can go to 26 Luong Ngoc Quyen street in Hoan Kiem district, 132 Quan Nhan street in Thanh Xuan district and 10 Alley 122 Lang street in Dong Da district from 8am to 5pm from Monday to Saturday.

The full list of blood donation sites is available on