French Health Minister Olivier Veran on Monday issued an emergency call for blood donation amid depleting levels of reserves in the country.

Veran appealed to the French people to mobilize urgently to quickly replenish stocks.

“The blood supply has never been so low … It is urgent, give your blood,” he said in a statement on Twitter.

The French Blood Bank (EFS) said the current blood reserve is at a “critical” level which is insufficient and unable to cover the requirements for the treatment of patients if the situation persists for more than a few days.

France has been facing a shortage since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic as the demand for blood transfusions among serious hospital patients has shot up while the donations have dried up.

An average of 10,000 donations are needed daily in order to treat 1 million patients in a year. It is critical to replenish blood stocks as blood products have a limited lifespan: seven days for platelets and 42 days for red blood cells, the EFT said.

It noted that there was no need for a health pass or vaccination pass – proving a completed COVID-19 vaccination schedule – for the donation and even those who are vaccinated against the disease can donate without any delay.

The current health containment measures in force and the infection by coronavirus have led to hesitancy among donors, it said.

The government has also been encouraging public service employees and nursing students to donate blood.

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