Around 350 members of the Tablighi Jamaat, who had come to Delhi to attend its congregation in Nizamuddin Markaz last month and were subsequently diagnosed with coronavirus, have agreed to donate their plasma to treat severely ill patients in the city. So far, 25 of them have donated for plasma therapy.
Senior officials in the health department said those who have come forward to donate their plasma recovered from COVID-19 at the Sultanpuri and Narela quarantine centres. On Monday night, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain also visited these patients at the quarantine centre.
Farah Bashar (40) from Tamil Nadu, who tested positive after attending the event in Delhi, has donated the plasma at Sultanpuri quarantine center. “I have done it for humanity and for the cause of saving the lives of other people. Like me, many others who have recovered from the disease are coming forward to donate their plasma,” he said.
Of the over 2,300 people evacuated from the Nizamuddin Markaz, 1,080 had tested positive for the infection. Several of them have now recovered and are being discharged from the hospitals.
Recently, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal made an appeal to patients who have successfully recovered from coronavirus to donate their plasma for treatment of COVID-19 patients. He said the initial results of plasma therapy on critically ill COVID-19 patients have been “encouraging”. Even on Sunday, the CM requested people to donate plasma, saying the virus has no religion.
“Many people are since coming forward to donate their plasma,” said a senior official from the health department. Plasma therapy uses antibodies found in the blood of people who have recovered from an infection, to treat patients who are infected. In this therapy, blood is drawn from a person who has recovered from the disease and the serum is separated and screened for virus-neutralising antibodies.
The only qualification donors need to fulfill is that they should be between 18-60 years of age, having no diabetes or blood pressure, and should have crossed three weeks and tested negative for coronavirus twice.
At Lok Nayak Hospital, six people have been administered the plasma therapy, and two of them have been shifted out of the ICU. The hospital administration is preparing a list of the donors who are medically fit to donate plasma for the other patients.
“We are hoping that one of the patients will be discharged on Tuesday. We are waiting for the final results,” said Dr JC Passey, medical director of the hospital.
Similarly, the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) has received around 11 donations.
The therapy was first administered to a 49-year-old patient admitted to Max Hospital. The patient has recovered and been discharged from the hospital on Sunday.
On April 16, Delhi government received the nod from the ICMR to use plasma therapy. The research institute has given an approval to ILBS and Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC), which had applied to the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for a research protocol.
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