More Blood Still Needed Despite Campaigns, Red Cross Says

A blood donation drive in Korat, February 2020.

BANGKOK — The Thai Red Cross still needs more blood for its dwindling reserve after two weeks of nationwide campaign for donations amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Red Cross said the epidemic is driving potential donors away, worsening the already precarious situation in the blood banks.

“We are still lacking,” Parichart Thonkrathoke, a public relations officer at the Thai Red Cross, said on the phone Thursday.

The problem was so severe that by mid April, Parichart said, the Thai Red Cross received only 2,400 units of donated blood each day, while the amount needed at hospitals around the country is 5,400 units per day.

The Red Cross then launched a massive campaign appealing for donations, which included sending messages to regular donors and setting up huge billboards in the capital.

After the campaign took off, the agency now received around 2,600 units each day, or roughly a 10 percent increase, which is still far from adequate, Parichart said.

She hopes more donors will turn up after the government started to relax the coronavirus shutdown measures. Parichart added that social distancing measures and sanitization are strictly enforced at the Red Cross to ensure the safety of blood donors.

Those interested in donating blood can call the Thai Red Cross Society at 02 256 4300 for more information.