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Samsung starts blood donation drive amid low reserves

South Korea's top conglomerate the Samsung Group said Thursday it has kicked off an inhouse blood donation campaign in an effort to help the country tide over a shortage of blood reserves.

The campaign will be carried out at key affiliates' major facilities across the nation until the end of February, with around 20,000 staff members expected to join it, the group said.

Samsung said it has also donated two buses with blood donation facilities worth 500 million won to South Korea's Red Cross.

Samsung held its first inhouse blood donation campaign in 1996, with around 280,000 employees donating their blood so far.

South Korea has been facing a severe shortage of blood since early this month, with the reserve amount dropping to two days on Jan. 7, much lower than the recommended five days.

To cope with the crisis, the government has also temporarily allowed blood donations from malaria-prone areas of the country.

While blood reserves usually fall during the winter, this year's situation is more severe due to the outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in the country in 2015.  (Yonhap)