Australians are being urged for the second time in two weeks to give blood after health officials acknowledged a drop in donations.

Fewer people are coming forward to make donations as social distancing is enforced to contain COVID-19, the Red Cross Lifeblood has told Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young.

But Dr Young has encouraged donors to keep giving, saying there remains a critical need for blood so health workers can continue their work.

“We’ll still see people needing treatment,” Dr Young said.

“All of that needs to continue and all of the normal work of our hospital system has to continue.”

Last week, Lifeblood appealed for more than 14,000 people to come forward and donate blood or plasma and while many people have answered the call, 10,000 donors are still needed nationally over the next three weeks.

“Donating blood and plasma remains an essential activity to keep blood flowing to patients across the country, and travel and venue restrictions do not prevent you from giving blood – we need you now more than ever,” Lifeblood Chief Executive Shelly Park said in a statement on Monday.

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“Coronavirus does not stop the need for blood and plasma. It is a critical resource and demand for blood is constant and will continue to be.”

Ms Park said Lifeblood’s donor centres remain open and its teams are ready to welcome donors who are healthy and well.

“Even though this situation continues to change rapidly, there are still patients in hospital who need blood and are relying on people to continue making these generous donations,” she said.

 

AAP