China tells recovered Covid-19 patients to wait six months before giving blood

Mimi Lau
·2-min read

China has said recovered Covid-19 patients must wait at least six months before giving blood.

The Beijing News reported that the latest policy would be introduced nationwide despite no proof that people can catch Covid-19 through blood transfusions.

It cited a medical practitioner in Wuhan, the city where the disease was first identified, who said traces of the virus have been identified in the urine and blood of patients who were being treated for Covid-19.

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The October issue of Blood, a US-based medical journal, also recorded that traces of the virus had been confirmed in the blood of some serious cases.

A haematologist told The Beijing News that although genetic material from the coronavirus has rarely been found in blood donated by asymptomatic patients, it was not possible to completely eliminate the risk of infection.

“There is still a lack of solid evidence suggesting the novel coronavirus can be transmitted via blood transfusions. But we will halt all blood donations from recently recovered patients for the safety of blood donors and recipients,” said the specialist.

The new guidelines, issued by the National Health Commission, also said someone who had been given the Covid 19 vaccine or a flu shot should wait 28 days before donating blood.

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Researchers have found that antibodies found in the blood plasma of recovered patients can greatly reduce mortality rates for seriously ill Covid-19 patients.

But the newspaper reported that blood donation centres had long stopped collecting plasma for this reason because there were so few cases in China now.

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