Appeal for blood plasma donations as London moves from ‘medium’ to ‘high’ Covid alert level

The NHS Blood and Transplant service is appealing for donations from people who have recovered from coronavirus to help save lives as London moves from “medium” to “high” alert.

NHS Blood Donor Centre, 26 Margaret Street.

“If you’ve had coronavirus, donation is a way you can help London during the lockdown,” says an NHS Blood and Transplant spokesperson.

“We urgently need people from London to donate to help treat patients in the trials and make sure stocks can be made available if the trials are a success. We especially need male donors as they generally have higher antibody levels.”

Donating blood plasma is a simple procedure and very similar to giving a normal blood donation but the red blood cells are returned to the donor and the process takes a little longer.

The nearest donor centre for residents living in the West End is at 26 Margaret Street, Fitzrovia. Anyone who has had coronavirus, either a test result or the symptoms, can offer to donate by calling 0300 123 23 23 or visiting www.nhsbt.nhs.uk to arrange an appointment to donate.

Public Health England (PHE) says that in London, infection rates are on “a steep upward path”.

Professor Kevin Fenton, London regional director, said: “Cases will soon tip over 100 per 100,000 people across the city but we are still short of our NHS services being overwhelmed. Intervening now gives us a greater chance to avoid the exponential growth we have seen in other parts of the country and to begin flattening the curve in the capital.

“Mixing between households remains one of the key drivers of disease transmission and these new measures will have a direct impact. We still have the power to contain this epidemic if we all play our part and adhere to the new rules,” he said.

According to PHE, the most recent national data from the week of 28 September to 4 October shows that “household” exposure was the most common cause of Covid-19 transmission. It also shows the most common events and activities reported by people testing positive, prior to symptom onset, were “eating out”, followed by “shopping”.

London’s local alert level will be upgraded from “medium” to “high” on Saturday 17 October. Key new restrictions on top of those already in place are: people must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place; you must not meet in a group of more than six outside, including in a garden or other space; and people should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible. If they need to travel, they should walk or cycle where possible, or plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport, says PHE.

These measures will be reviewed every 14 days to consider whether they are still appropriate. More information on the restrictions here.