SHANGHAI, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Several Chinese cities have declared that a shortage in blood supply for clinical use was imminent, state media reported on Tuesday, as travel curbs due to the coronavirus outbreak keep potential donors at home.
The China Daily newspaper said Shiyan city in Hubei province, the epicentre of the epidemic that has killed 2,004 and infected 74,185 people so far, sent out a plea to locals in good health aged between 18 and 55 to donate blood.
The city’s epidemic prevention authorities also said that members of China’s ruling Communist Party, government employees, soldiers, hospital workers and college students should take the lead and set an example, the newspaper reported.
The blood centre of eastern Jiangxi province has sent text messages to millions of phone users in its provincial capital of Nanchang, offering to make house calls to potential donors, while the Chongqing Blood Center also rolled out similar services this month to ease shortages, the newspaper said.
Millions of people have been unable to leave their homes or travel between cities after local authorities put in curbs to limit the spread of the virus.