Delhi govt. to set up plasma bank for COVID-19 treatment

Hospital staff guiding patients at Lok Nayak Hospital in New Delhi on Monday.

Hospital staff guiding patients at Lok Nayak Hospital in New Delhi on Monday.   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

Facility at ILBS to start operations in two days; CM appeals for plasma donation

The Delhi government will set up a first-of-its-kind plasma bank in the Capital for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

The plasma bank will start operating in the next two days, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced here on Monday while paying tribute to Aseem Gupta, an anaesthesia specialist from Lok Nayak Hospital, who died on Sunday after contracting the novel coronavirus earlier this month. Mr. Kejriwal also announced a compensation of ₹1 crore to the next of kin of the doctor.

Tribute to doctor

“Dr. Aseem Gupta was deputed to treat coronavirus patients. While performing his duties, he was himself tested positive for the virus on June 3. He was admitted to the hospital but unfortunately lost his life,” he said.

“The Delhi government will provide his family an honorary compensation of ₹1 crore as a small tribute on behalf of the people of Delhi and the country,” said the Chief Minister.

Mr. Kejriwal appealed to those who had recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma at the bank that will be set up at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS). The Delhi government, he said, will ensure “full safety” of the donors. Every COVID-19 patient, whether admitted to a private or a government hospital, will receive plasma from the bank, based on the doctor’s prescription, he said.

“Around two months ago, Delhi was one of the first States to start plasma therapy trials. In the first phase, we conducted trials on 29 patients and the results were very positive. We had submitted the results to the Central government and they have allowed plasma therapy trials in Delhi government and many other private hospitals,” he said.

All the arrangements and formalities for setting up the bank have been completed in the last two-three days.

‘Not ultimate cure’

“Patients who have recovered should come out and donate plasma. This will establish a proper plasma therapy system in the city. I want to make it clear that plasma is not the ultimate cure of novel coronavirus but it is helpful for patients with moderate symptoms, mainly those whose condition is not serious,” said the Chief Minister.

He said that in the last few days, plasma therapy trials have been conducted on 35 patients at Lok Nayak Hospital and 34 of them have survived. Another hospital in Delhi conducted plasma trials on 49 patients and 46 of them survived.

The Delhi government will also set up a helpline for potential plasma donors to call or reach out through WhatsApp. Such donors will be contacted and all arrangements for donation will be made accordingly. “The government will also pay for their conveyance. The whole procedure [of plasma donation] takes around 30-45 minutes,” he said.

“Antibody tests will be conducted in Delhi to check antibody level in people who have recovered from coronavirus,” As per the records, there are 52,000 people who have recovered from COVID-19 and they did not even feel it,” said Mr. Kejriwal.

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 5:14:55 AM |

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