Those exposed to COVID urged to wait 14 days before donating blood

As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc across sectors, blood donations are at an all-time low and some donors are unsure of whether they're able to assist after they've been ill.

FILE: Picture: Eyewitness News.

CAPE TOWN - The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) has urged blood donors who've been in contact with a COVID-19 positive case or are displaying flu-like symptoms to wait two weeks before they are eligible to donate blood again.

As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc across sectors, blood donations are at an all-time low and some donors are unsure of whether they're able to assist after they've been ill.

The organisation's medical director Dr Karin van den Berg said: “If you have been in contact with someone who was COVID positive or exposed to COVID, we will generally ask you to wait for 14 days before you come and donate. And that’s mainly more to protect our staff and other donors.”

She said the process naturally differed for those who had contracted the virus: “If you have contracted COVID-19 and you were hospitalised because you were sick, you would have to wait a bit longer.”

Hospitalised patients will need to wait a month after full recovery.

The blood service has called on citizens to donate if they're able to as blood stocks are critically low.

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