Benevolent Punjabis are no different from their fellow countrymen in their reluctance to donate convalescent plasma for critical Covid-19 patients as the state, witnessing a spike in Covid-19 cases after lifting lockdown, is facing shortage of donors.
Out of 400 recovered patients contacted so far by the state, only 15 have donated plasma. As of Friday, the total number of patients recovered in Punjab were 5,017 out of a total of 7,357, who contracted the disease. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has already directed the authorities concerned to set up a plasma bank to ensure that critical patients get immediate treatment and could be saved. But with donors shying away, the state faces a Herculean task.
Dr K K Talwar, former director of PGIMER and Adviser to government on Health, Medical Education and Research, told The Indian Express, “Punjabis are known for their benevolence. When it comes to donating blood, they are always at the forefront. But they are reluctant to donate plasma. We are facing this problem. Out of 400 recovered patients, only 15 have donated plasma so far.”
He said he was yet to find out the reasons. “But it seems the fault lies with us. We are not able to sensitise people about how angelic gesture it can be to donate plasma and save a life,” he said.
He added that he was being told that people were believing some kind of rumours that donating plasma could make them contract Covid once again. “I want to convey them a message that this plasma can be a life saviour in case of critical patients. All those who are eligible to donate it, should come forward. We should create this awareness and ensure maximum recovered patients come up and do not show reluctance.”
A functionary of the government said they were made to understand that Covid patients feel fatigued after contracting the virus. Also, there is so much of scare about Covid that even after recovering they do not feel like donating plasma.
“These are the challenges we are facing in the therapy. It will have to be made a mass movement with NGOs stepping in to dispel the myths that donation of plasma can be harmful,” he said.
Punjab is preparing to set up a plasma bank and will require donors. The state has already conducted successful plasma transfusions and the critical patients recovered. The government had lost its police officer ACP Ludhiana Anil Kohli due to Covid. The government was preparing to transfuse plasma on him but he passed away when the donor was identified and taken to Ludhiana.
On Friday, as per the media bulletin, as many as eight patients were on oxygen support in the state, three patients were in ICU and one was on ventilator support.
Four more deaths in Punjab, 59 patients on oxygen support, 9 on ventilator
Chandigarh: Four more Covid patients died in Punjab, taking the state toll to 187. With 217 new cases, the state now has a tally of 7,357.
The number of patients on oxygen support hit another high with 59 while nine patients are on ventilator support. As per the official media bulletin, 5,017 patients have been discharged and there are 2,153 active cases.
The deaths were reported from Amritsar (65-year-old man), Mohali (57-year-old man), Fatehgarh Sahib (56-year-old woman) and Jalandhar (67-year-old man).
Among the fresh cases, Jalandhar reported 61, followed by Ludhiana (41) and Patiala and Mohali (22 each).
Three policemen from Ludhiana city police tested positive. A 47-year-old head constable posted as personal security officer (PSO) with ACP-1 (detective) at CIA-1 tested positive. A 56-year-old sub-inspector (SI) posted at Moti Nagar police station tested positive. A 53-year old assistant sub-inspector (ASI) posted at division number 7 police station also tested positive. All three are asymptomatic, said Ashwini Gotyal, Additional DCP (HQ).
The other districts which reported fresh cases were Amritsar (16), Sangrur (13), Gurdaspur (8), Nawanshahr and Bathinda (5 each), Pathankot and Ferozepur (4 each), Tarn Taran, Hoshiarpur and Ropar (3 each), Fatehgarh Sahib (2) and Barnala, Fazilka, Moga, Muktsar and Faridkot (1 each).
Of the new cases, the source of infection was not immediately known for 107 cases, 93 were contacts of Covid patients and 17 had travel history outside the state including two who returned from abroad.
Amritsar has reported maximum Covid-19 deaths (51), followed by Ludhiana with 30 deaths and Jalandhar with 23 deaths. Ludhiana has reported maximum cases of infection (1,287), followed by Jalandhar (1,110) and Amritsar (1,021). ENS
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