Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said that a ‘plasma bank’ will be made operational in the national capital in two days to treat COVID-19 patients.
Plasma therapy involves injecting blood-component plasma extracted from a cured coronavirus patient into a positive case for treatment.
Addressing a press conference, Kejriwal said: “Plasma bank will be made operational at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences in the next two days. Government or private hospitals in which the patient is being treated can prescribe plasma therapy after which ILBS can be approached.”
The Chief Minister also urged cured patients to come forward to donate plasma and said that they will be provided taxi service to and from the hospital.
A contact number will also be made operational, on which people can call or message to inform the authorities that they want to donate plasma.
“People have this misconception that they will contract coronavirus again if they step into a hospital. I want to inform them that the possibility of contracting the virus again is low and, moreover, ILBS is not a COVID hospital,” he emphasised.
Kejriwal, however, informed that plasma therapy is not a “sanjeevani booti” (divine herb) and those in the last stage of disease or with co-morbidities and on ventilator support cannot be easily saved. “Only those at a moderate stage can be saved.”
He added that Delhi government-run LNJP Hospital administered this therapy to 35 people, of which 34 survived, while another private hospital administered it to 49 patients and 46 survived.
He also conveyed his condolences on the demise of a senior doctor of Delhi’s Lok Nayak Jaiprakash (LNJP) Hospital and announced a compensation of Rs one crore to the family.
Dr Aseem Gupta had tested positive on June 6 and succumbed to the deadly disease on Sunday. The 56-year-old was an anesthesia specialist in the hospital, which was declared a COVID-19 hospital.