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Coronavirus (COVID-19) – NHSBT update, 26 February – coronavirus risk deferral extended to six new countries

Date: 26 February 2020

NHSBT is continuing to monitor the coronavirus situation and working with the Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England, and the UK’s blood donation services to put in place proportionate measures where necessary.

We are well prepared to deal with new diseases and using our plans to enable us respond to an evolving situation.

JPAC, the joint professional advisory committee for the UK blood services, regularly reviews and updates donor selection guidelines in response to emerging infections.

As always, colleagues are asked to pay close attention to washing their hands to help reduce the risk of transmission of all types of infections to themselves and others.

There are no confirmed cases of any form of coronavirus (Covid-19) being transmitted through the donation of substances of human origin such as blood, organs, tissues and stem cells.

The Government’s latest advice is that the risk to individuals remains low.

JPAC has issued a change notification extending the coronavirus risk area to:

  • Cambodia
  • Iran
  • Italy (Northern Italy, defined by a line above, and not including, Pisa, Florence and Rimini.)
  • Laos
  • Myanmar
  • Vietnam

This is in addition to the existing deferral for:

  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand

People must not donate:

a) Less than 28 days from a donor’s return from a Coronavirus risk area. This includes transit through an airport in a Coronavirus risk area, even if the traveller has not left the airport.

b) Less than 28 days from the last contact with a person with Coronavirus infection.

c) Less than 28 days since recovery from Coronavirus infection or possible Coronavirus infection.

General COVID-19 Guidance for managers

Our HR Direct team are available to answer any people queries you might have in relation to coronavirus and any potential management of persons who may have had contact with coronavirus. HR Direct provide advice by telephone or email and are available from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. You can call the team on 0117 3227700.

Time off work for colleagues who are quarantined or sick as a result of the virus will need to be reported and recorded but does not count towards the application of attendance trigger points under the attendance policy.

Where can I find more information? 

The PHE page for coronavirus and health professionals is regularly updated and a good source of further information.

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