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Morocco announces critical shortage of blood supplies amid coronavirus outbreak Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Morocco announces critical shortage of blood supplies amid coronavirus outbreak

200 Moroccans gave blood on Monday despite a daily minimum need of 800 donations [Getty]

Date of publication: 25 March, 2020

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Faced with dwindling blood supplies during the global health crisis, Moroccan officials urged citizens to give blood.
Morocco on Tuesday sounded alarm over shortages of blood supplies as the country's coronavirus outbreak worsens, according to The New Arab's Arabic-language website.

On Monday, only 200 Moroccans gave blood at a time when at least four times that number are needed on a daily basis.

Dr. Mohamed Benajiba, director of the National Center for Blood Transfusion (CNTS), urged Moroccans to donate blood, stressing patients' lives depend on it.

Benajiba told The New Arab that Moroccans are reluctant to donate blood fearing they will contract the virus at the donation site.

Mobile blood donation sites have also ceased their operations after Moroccan authorities announced a state of emergency, Benajiba said.

"The National Center for Blood Transfusion has taken measures to ensure the complete safety of donors," Benajiba told The New Arab.

Benajiba said Moroccan authorities will grant permission to citizens who leave their homes to donate blood.

Frequent blood donor Saeed Al-Semlali acknowledged the concerns over COVID-19's spread, but trusted that all precautions were taken by officials to ensure blood donors' safety.

"Moroccan citizens should donate blood, especially in the difficult circumstances the country is going through due to the spread of the coronavirus," he told The New Arab.

Morocco hopes to reach donations from 1 percent of the country's population, a minimum recommended by the World Health Organisation.

The country reported 170 cases of coronavirus as of Wednesday.

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