Punjab CM gives nod for formation of plasma bank

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, here on Thursday, gave the nod for formation of a plasma bank to facilitate Covid plasma therapy, which is being carried out as an ICMR trial project in state’s government hospitals.

Chairing a virtual review meeting of the Covid situation, the Chief Minister approved the plasma bank’s formation under the supervision of Neelam Marwaha, former head of the blood bank and transfusion medicine at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, here.

The plasma bank would serve as a ready inventory source for critically ill patients or those at the risk of severe disease.

For trial, 15 patients have been recruited. Of them, eight were given plasma and the rest had been placed in control arm as per randomisation by the ICMR. Five patients have recovered and will be discharged soon.

Of the 300 recovered patients, 11 have donated plasma.

Expressing concern over rising violation of safety norms, many by political parties, the Chief Minister said he would write to the heads of registered political parties to seek cooperation in checking large gatherings. He would also appeal them to avoid any actions that could spread Covid-19.

Meanwhile, Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta said cases had been registered against few political parties for violation of Covid-19 safety norms. The police would write to political parties against violations.

Pointing to reporting of 258 Covid-19 new cases on Wednesday, and 11 Punjab civil services and senior officers, including Chief Medical Officer of Sangrur, and judges getting infected, the Chief Minister stressed the need to raise the guard further.

Office staff, in particular, must be very careful, he stressed and asked Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan to issue SOPs for government officers’ meetings, visit to other offices, etc. Spread of infection among critical manpower due to casual attitude was not acceptable, he added.

Home Secretary Satish Chandra apprised the Chief Minister that process of cancellation of FIRs, registered against migrant workers for lockdown violation, as ruled by the Supreme Court, had begun in the state.

Principal Secretary (Health) D.K. Tiwari said the state’s mortality rate was 2.6 per cent as against the national rate of 2.8 per cent. Around 70.8 per cent Covid-19 patients were asymptomatic, 14.7 per cent mild, 8.8 per cent moderate and 5.6 per cent severe, he added.