March 14 2022
Many blood drives, in which buses with equipment for blood donation are sent to companies, schools and other places, have been canceled in Japan amid the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The Japanese Red Cross Society’s blood donation program has two pillars: about 140 permanent blood donation rooms nationwide and approximately 280 blood donation buses.
While the number of visitors to donation rooms are almost at target levels despite the pandemic, there has been a spate of cancellations of offers to accept donation buses, due to concerns about the infection spread.
“Cancellations gradually increased during the fifth wave of infections (in Japan), but they spread nationwide right away during the (ongoing) sixth wave,” said Maiko Matsushita, an official at the society’s Kanto-Koshinetsu division in eastern Japan, which handles about one-third of all donors in the country.
In February, the number of donors via blood drives came to only 92.1 pct of the target, with the dispatch of donation buses canceled at 183 venues, nearly doubling from January.