China seeks blood donations in coronavirus fight

Multiple Chinese cities are seeing their blood supplies dwindle as travel restrictions amid fears of the coronavirus have kept potential donors at home.

Officials in Shiyan in the Hubei province, the epicenter of the virus outbreak that has killed more than 2,000 people and infected over 74,000 others, sent out pleas for healthy locals ages 18 to 55 to donate blood, Reuters reported, citing the China Daily newspaper.

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In the Jiangxi province, the blood center sent text messages to millions of people in its capital of Nanchang asking for blood donations. It offered to make house calls to increase its supply.

The Chongqing Blood Center also initiated a similar service this month. Millions have been forced to stay home as lockdowns in several Chinese cities have halted public services and public transportation.

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In an effort to inspire potential blood donors, authorities said members of China's Communist Party, government employees, soldiers, college students and health care workers should donate blood and set an example.