South Korea’s waning blood supply is being restored due to decreasing COVID-19 case numbers and the help a particular religious group, Shincheonji Church.
DAEGU, KOREA, May 25, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — Daegu, South Korea’s Dongseong-ro Blood Donation House has been crowded with young students and has become a ‘hot place’ in the Daegu area for blood donations. Donation House officials say they are busy as the number of blood donations has been increasing recently. This is a welcome change to the Blood Donation House as the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the number of blood donors to generally decrease. This is because COVID-19 patients are ineligible to donate blood while infected and up to 10 days after recovery. Previously, COVID-19 patients had to wait up to 4 weeks until they could donate blood.
An official with the Blood Center stated, “It is believed that the shortened period for exclusion from blood donation is one of the factors that contributed to the increase in the number of donors. There were times when the number of blood donations fell for about 3-4 weeks. At the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, many were afraid of donating blood. So in 2020, compared to 2019, blood donation plummeted. Then in 2021, the amount of blood donation started to rise again. It’s fortunate.” Although blood donation is lower than last year, the blood supply is now stable.
Korea utilizes a nationwide unified monitoring system for blood banks, which makes it possible to see real-time blood volume nationwide. It monitors the donation holdings by region and the holdings of each institution. Through this nationwide, regional, and institutional unit monitoring of the blood center, it identifies areas with insufficient blood reserves in advance and shifts supplies from larger areas to overcome the shortage.
It is expected that blood donation will increase as people return to their daily routines and COVID-19 cases begin to wane. The Daegu-Gyeongbuk Blood Center plans to coordinate the blood donation schedule for universities and other institutions this month and donate blood. The plan is to hold a ‘blood donation campaign festival’ in order to provide an opportunity for many people to participate in the noble work of sharing life.
It should be noted that the ‘Shincheonji Church of Jesus, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony’ has been conducting a blood donation campaign through a nationwide group effort.
According to the blood management headquarters of the Korean Red Cross, from the 18th of last month to the 1st of this month, a blood donation was carried out nationwide through coordination with the Shincheonji Church. The collected blood donation documents and blood donation vouchers were received from 18,628 Shincheonji donors in just 14 days. This is the largest amount of blood donation that a single organization participated in for a 2-week span ever in Korea.
An official from the Blood Management Headquarters said, “It has been a great help in overcoming the crisis in blood supply due to COVID-19. Donated blood donation books are supported to alleviate the financial burden of patients who received blood transfusions during surgery or treatment, and the right to donate blood is essential to our society. We will use it for necessary donation projects,” he said.
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