China relaxes blood donation rules for ex-COVID positive
Chinese health authorities have relaxed rules that restricted formerly COVID positive people from donating blood amid an alarming shortage of blood nationwide.
People who were infected with COVID-19 and had no or mild symptoms are now eligible to donate their blood seven days after they received their last positive PCR test result, China's National Health Commission stated in its latest guideline regarding blood donations issued on Saturday.
Close and secondary contacts of COVID-19 infections are now also eligible to donate blood. The new guideline also says those who have travelled to medium and high risk regions are now able to donate their blood.
Those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine should wait 48 hours before donating their blood. Those who were critically ill from COVID should wait for six months after recovery to donate.
In November 2020, in an effort to curb the pandemic spreading, China ruled that any one infected with COVID should wait at least six months after recovery to donate blood.
The change comes after blood collection centers around the country reported sharp drops in donations and multiple provinces reported low levels of reserves.
Lanzhou City in Northwest China's Gansu Province issued a red alert for blood shortage on Thursday. South China's Guangzhou has send messages to residents calling on them to donate blood.
In neighboring Jiangsu Province, the total volume of Type A blood left in reserve is only enough for three days use, while Types B, O and AB blood can only last no longer than five days, reported Jiangsu Television Station on Thursday.
The shortfall has affected the emergency treatment of maternal and critically ill patients, said the Blood Center of Kunming, Yunnan province, on Monday. Health authorities in Kunming have called on government agencies to organize group donations to relieve the acute shortage.
The guideline stated there is no evidence in China or any other country that shows COVID-19 can be transmitted through blood transmission.