Blood donors and COVID-19 – SANBS implements safety measures

Arrive Alive

Blood donors and COVID-19 – SANBS implements safety measures
Blood donors and COVID-19 - SANBS implements safety measures. Photo: Arrive Alive

The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) is an organisation whose purpose is “Trusted to Save Lives” and we take the health and safety of our stakeholders very seriously. It is our social responsibility to take all necessary steps to try and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

As such, we have taken the decision for some of our teams to work remotely. Where necessary, our employees have been advised to conduct business essential meetings via virtual communication such as Webex, Zoom or Skype, until further notice.

Our staff in the field are educated to disclose if they are feeling unwell or exhibiting any flu-like symptoms or signs of infection (fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat and shortness of breath), and have been asked not to come to work if they are.

Measures are in place to manage any such cases.

SANBS provides an essential service within South Africa and therefore, we appeal to donors to continue donating blood, to help prevent stocks dropping. To ensure that the people who utilise our facilities are protected, we are assessing donors at the doors and at access points into mobile sites. Our donation sites are regularly disinfected with alcohol. We have also equipped all our clinics and mobile site entrances with antiseptic sprays and alcohol wipes.

Importantly, we are also encouraging and educating donors to delay donation if they are exhibiting any flu-like symptoms or signs of infection until they are in good health. In addition, we request donors who have traveled to countries with known cases to delay their donations for at least 21 days.

Our staff has been informed that all non-essential travel should be cancelled. This includes conferences, workshops and other events. All off-site meetings will be cancelled or attended via virtual communication platforms.

All visitors to SANBS will be assessed via a questionnaire for COVID-19 exposure. International visitors will not be allowed entry into our premises if they traveled during the past 14 days and have not tested negative for the virus.

We urge individuals to take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of fellow citizens. If you are feeling unwell or exhibiting any clinical symptoms of infection, please see your local healthcare provider as soon as possible.

We are in close contact with health authorities and we will provide regular updates on any further developments.

Our operations are continuing as normal, all measures are being taken to protect our employees, donors and all stakeholders.

Any urgent queries or concerns can be directed to our Medical Director, Dr Jackie Thomson on 083 450 5841 or the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) Coronavirus hotline number on 0800 029 999 or whats app number 060 012 3456.

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