Transfusion blood shortage in metropolitan area

NHK -- Dec 27
The spread of the new coronavirus is threatening the supply of blood for transfusions in the Tokyo Metropolitan area.

The Japanese Red Cross Society's regional blood center says donations have fallen below monthly targets since April, when a state of emergency was declared that caused people to work or study at home.

In Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa Prefectures, about 40 percent of blood collection vehicles have been immobilized since April. Donations of blood in 400 milliliter quantities, for which demand is greatest, have fallen below target by 45,700 units.

With the number of surgeries picking up again, blood stocks fell to 80 percent of the normal standard, or three days' supply, between mid-October and November.

The center has been sourcing blood from other regions and is calling on people to donate, but it is unclear whether enough blood can be secured.

An official from the center, Mitsuyoshi Tomohiko, says it can only depend on individuals' cooperation, and that it will call on donors to continue giving blood to prevent an impact on medical institutions.

- NHK