Blood donation drives are still safe to carry out during the COVID-19 outbreak.
It is safe for the public to donate blood provided they meet the additional requirements outlined by the Department of Laboratory Services.
This was underscored by Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital Blood Bank Supervisor Haji Matusop bin Haji Daud at the blood donation drive organised by the Fire and Rescue Department (FRD) in collaboration with the RIPAS Hospital Blood Donation Centre yesterday.
The additional requirements include body temperature check, donors must not suffer from non-infectious diseases and the organiser must provide hand sanitisers before entering the blood donation space.
Social distancing must be practised throughout the campaign in responding to the call made by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to avoid uneccesary incidents and to limit the number of people coming into the blood donation venue as well as number of donors at one time.
More than 50 donors turned up on the first day of the campaign at the Multipurpose Hall of the FRD Headquarters in Berakas. Forty-two pints of blood were collected.
As a first responder in emergencies, the FRD not only focussed on engaging in emergency responsibilities but also involved in providing assistance for the welfare of the community when needed.
In this regard and in efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, FRD personnel are involved in assisting the MoH at several checkpoints in the Belait and Temburong Districts as well as monitoring individuals under quarantine at hotels in the Brunei-Muara District during the virus outbreak.
The blood donation drive was in response to the call made by the MoH for replenishment of the blood supply in meeting the demand. The drive will continue today.
Prior to the campaign, the FRD took precautionary safety measures such as social distancing and limiting the numbers of donors at one time.
The public is welcome to join the ‘A Drop of Blood Can Save Lives’ campaign. The department reminded the public to call the emergency line 995 to provide accurate details.
Senior Scientific Officer at RIPAS Hospital Department of Laboratory Services Ken Teo noted that the number of blood donors has gone up in the past few days after the call for blood donors to come forward.
The blood donation drive was planned several weeks ago where the Blood Donation Centre briefed the organiser on the precautionary measures during the COVID-19 outbreak, he added.
He called on more to donate blood either through blood donation drives or by visiting the Blood Donation Centre in RIPAS Hospital. The public can call 2242424 ext 6001 to book an appointment as the centre has to limit the number of donors.