The news comes after scientists announced blood transfusions from novel coronavirus survivors could help critically ill patients.
Essaouira – Dr. Mohamed Benajiba, director of the National Center for Blood Transfusion (CNTS), called on Tuesday, March 24, for a blood drive in Morocco as the novel coronavirus crisis rages on in the North African country.
Benajiba told Arab News blood supplies are running dangerously low, emphasizing that the lives of thousands of patients across Morocco depend on blood transfusions.
On Monday, March 23, the CNTS director said that only 200 Moroccans donated blood. Hospitals need a minimum of 800 donations per day for ongoing and new treatments. Benajiba believes Moroccans are reluctant to make donations as fear of contracting COVID-19 spreads through the country.
“The National Center for Blood Transfusion has taken measures to ensure the complete safety of donors,” he assured, urging Moroccans to keep donating blood.
The authorities will give permits to citizens leaving the house to give blood, he added.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends countries retain a blood store of 1% of the population, a minimum requirement Morocco is a long way from meeting.
The news comes after US scientists announced blood plasma transfusions from recovered COVID-19 patients could cure those still suffering from the virus.
Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, Missouri are ready to start testing the theory on human subjects.
The theory relies on the immune systems of the recovered patients, using the antibodies in their blood plasma to boost the critically ill patient’s capacity to fight off the virus.
Doctors used blood plasma transfusions to save patients’ lives during the Spanish Flu pandemic that ravaged Europe and, like the novel coronavirus, extended its reach across the globe in 1918.
The Spanish Flu caused widespread devastation, with historians estimating that between 50 million and 100 million people globally died during the pandemic.