'Keep giving' call as blood donors set a new record

Top News | Sum Lok-kei 13 Feb 2018

Sum Lok-kei

The Hong Kong Red Cross yesterday called people to give blood regularly after yesterday's record-breaking donations from close to 1,000 people following the Tai Po bus accident.

The Red Cross said 2,200 people registered to give blood at its centers on Sunday. Close to 1,000 successfully donated, which is the highest figure in almost 10 years.

To help maintain supply, it urged people to continue giving blood in coming days and during the Lunar New Year. It needs 1,100 people to donate each day to maintain supply.

The Red Cross will keep 12 donor centers open during the Lunar New Year holidays, including those in Mong Kok, Kwun Tong, Causeway Bay, Sha Tin, Tseung Wan and Yuen Long.

Donors may also register online before going to the centers.

The chief executive and medical director of the Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service, Lee Cheuk-kwong, thanked donors for the large turnout.

Lee also said staff of donor centers cancelled leave to return to their posts, working until midnight on Sunday.

Lee said earlier that hospitals required 70 bags of blood for treating those hurt in the Tai Po bus accident.

Meanwhile, people continued to attend donor centers yesterday.

A queue formed up outside a donor center in Tsuen Wan during lunchtime, with dozens filing to give blood.

A restaurant owner in Tai Po also stuck a notice outside his shop yesterday morning, stating that business will resume in the afternoon after he had donated blood.

"God bless Tai Po, God bless Hong Kong," the notice said.

Last year, 244,653 bags of blood were successfully drawn, while 312,972 people gave blood.

On average, 857 people attended donor centers in Hong Kong per day in 2017 - 22 percent short of the Red Cross goal.

In response, the Red Cross extended service hours at three centers in Tseung Wan, Causeway Bay and Kwun Tong and launched a booking service for donors to pick time slots at centers in Tseung Wan, Sha Tin and West Kowloon.

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