Seriously ill Covid-19 patients given hope with controversial 1,000 euros incentive for blood plasma donations


The Mayor of Bucharest, Gabriela Firea, has taken what many believe to be a radical step to save the lives of Covid-19 patients in the city. She is offering 1,000 EUR worth of essential retail vouchers for blood donations from citizens who have recovered from the virus. Antibodies from the donated blood plasma will be used as an emergency treatment to help seriously ill patients.

Gabriela Firea explained, “Convalescent plasma treatment is currently undergoing multiple studies across the globe and initial results are very promising. The plasma from recovered patients is rich with antibodies and can be used to stimulate further antibody production in patients being treated for Covid-19.”

However, Romania already has one of the lowest rates of blood and plasma donation in Europe, and the country currently has an alarming 67,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 infections. Of the 31,500 people who have recovered, only around 400 have donated blood, despite public appeals. This led Gabriela Firea to launch the voucher initiative.

Any qualifying individual who donates blood plasma will receive vouchers worth 1,000 EUR. These can be used to buy food, medicine and other essential goods from stores in Bucharest, providing both an incentive to donate and an injection of capital into the city’s beleaguered retail sector.

Despite criticism from the opposition, who linked the programme to organ trafficking and made emotive calls in the media for it to be stopped, Gabriela Firea stands by her decision. “Other government initiatives have failed to increase donation rates,” she said. “Providing a financial incentive to those who have recovered from the virus is one of the best ways to prevent more people from dying.”

Overcoming negative social attitudes to blood donation will not be straightforward, and it remains to be seen whether or not Romanians will be sufficiently convinced of the benefits of plasma donation. Trials are still ongoing.

“I’m not advocating the use of the donated plasma until the trials are complete,” added Gabriela Firea. “If the studies show negative results, the worst-case scenario will be that we’ve paid for blood, which can still be used for routine hospital operations. On the other hand, we could be saving thousands of lives and assisting the global search for effective treatment.”

If the scheme is successful in Bucharest, Gabriela Firea hopes it can be implemented nationwide, where similar shortages exist and the process of soliciting donations has been impeded by bureaucracy, public attitudes and inaction on the part of the Ministry of Health.

For more information, contact:
Alexandru Burghiu
+40 735 262 102
City Hall Bucharest

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Rating Bee gives hope to businesses suffering with bad online reviews

Denver, CO, USA; 5 December 2019 – Consumer reviews have the power to make or break a business and there are plenty of experienced reviewers out there writing fair reviews. However, less experienced reviewers may not be as forgiving and while some of these negative reviews are fully justified, others can be needlessly damaging.

A Denver, Colorado startup, is determined to overhaul the broken online review industry to give businesses a fairer chance to thrive and helps resolve customer issues before they leave a bad review.

Rating Bee gathers ratings from all the major review sites online, takes an average, then includes both negative and positive resolutions to client issues for a total Rating Bee score. This startup believes that their review software has the power to generate the most reliable and trustworthy review score possible.

“Our new online review service gives reviewers the opportunity to post fair and helpful reviews and resolutions. At the same time, businesses are given the chance to resolve any customer issues before a customer leaves that potentially damaging one star review,” explains Rating Bee co-founder Michael Nieves, “Once the issue is settled, the reviewer can choose to either make the resolution public and change their rating for the business accordingly or stick with their initial assessment. This is of huge benefit to businesses, as it helps them to avoid crushing 1 star reviews and, they get to retain the customer in the long run.”

Rating Bee came about as a result of the founders concerns over review websites that allow first-time, often unvetted reviewers to post negative and potentially malicious reviews about a business.

These negative reviews find their way into prominent online spaces, negatively impacting a small business’s profile, sometimes for years. Sadly, even positive reviews can then be overlooked, as some reviews websites list these good reviews within the “Not recommended” section.

“There are bad reviews that are irrelevant, unvetted, and sometimes amount to nothing more than competitors spamming a small business. Worst of all, reviews can be used as a weapon to terrorize a business,” says Nieves, “When reviews simply say, “Terrible service” or “Hated it”, they rob the business of an opportunity to understand the issue and solve it for future customers. These types of reviews are no different than someone tagging your neighborhood walls with graffiti. It does nothing for you, your community, the businesses, or your neighborhood, and for small businesses or startups, it can be crushing. With Rating Bee, customers can now get issues solved and at the same time help the business to get better.”

Rating Bee believes that, while no business is perfect and situations regularly pop up that can cause difficulties in performance, it’s important to give a business the benefit of the doubt and an opportunity to fix the issue.

Customers can write a review or request a resolution now for any business. Also, businesses can register now on Rating Bee and claim their free business listing immediately which will allow them to start receiving reviews and clean up their online business ratings. Each business listing is Google ready – optimized for search results and trust factor. Listings include a business profile along with images, custom descriptions, hours of operation and mapped directions.

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