There is not enough evidence to show that COVID-19 may be transmitted through blood transfusions, the Department of Health said.
There is “minimal evidence” but the DOH is not taking it lightly, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online press conference.
“’Yung mga posibilidad ay nandun, kasi yung nagco-cross from the mother to the child (The posibility is there because it crosses from the mother to the child),” she said.
She was referring to a few cases when antibodies against COVID-19 were found in babies born after their mothers survived the virus.
“We need to have further evidence for this,” she said. But blood recipients should not be worried about a possible transmission as health officials check donated blood for possible diseases even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Vergeire said.
“Sa lahat ng dugo na dino-donate, prinoproseso po yan kung saan inii-screen natin ‘yung mga tranfusion for transmissible infection (Bags of blood that are donated are processed and screened for transmissible infection),” she said.
Ito ‘yung mga ibang sakit, liban dito sa sinasabing COVID-19 (These are diseases apart from COVID-19.),” she said.
The government has been encouraging the public to donate more blood as supply in blood banks dropped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. lood donation in 2020 dropped to 1.04 million units, from the 1.38 million collected from January to June of 2019, said Marites Estrella, program manager of the DOH National Voluntary Blood Services Program. The DOH has been issuing special passes for blood donors, while government seeks to encourage more people to donate blood during the COVID-19 pandemic.