Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Monday said hospitals where Covid patients are treated should counsel them before they are discharged, so that they come forward to donate plasma later.
The CM also made calls to some patients who had recovered over the course of the past few days, asking them to donate plasma at the plasma bank started at ILBS Hospital last week.
“I spoke to several people who have recovered and they were willing to donate. One person I spoke to said he and his five friends would come forward and donate plasma as all six of them were infected. I appeal to all those who recovered at least 14 days ago to come forward and donate plasma. You could save someone’s life,” he said.
Cases in Delhi crossed the 1 lakh mark on Monday. Of these, 72,088 have recovered. “There are close to 1 lakh cumulative cases in Delhi but there is no need to panic. Around 72,000 people have recovered. People are falling ill but recovering. There has also been more improvement. The positivity rate has dropped from 35% last month to 11% now. We are conducting 20,000-24,000 tests daily. Of the 15,000 hospitals beds for Covid patients, only 5,100 are occupied,” he said.
The CM said, however, that plasma donation was not very high.
Speaking to Karan (37), who recovered from Covid last month, Kejriwal appealed to him to donate and said a vehicle would pick him up from home to take him to the plasma bank. “Last week, we started the plasma bank. Till there is no vaccine, there is no cure, but plasma trial shows that the therapy helps moderate patients and doesn’t let them slip into the severe category. Till now, there was chaos for families as they had to run around. Now, people know there is a bank but the demand is high and supply very low. If the number of donors doesn’t increase, there will be a shortage very soon. A team of doctors is calling people, asking them to donate plasma, please say yes,” he said.
Among those who donated plasma at the centre is Yogesh Dhakad (28), a nursing officer from RML hospital. He donated plasma thrice in a span of 50 days. Dhakad, a native of Gwalior, contracted the disease at the hospital’s Covid ward and tested positive on April 18.
He was admitted to Safdarjung hospital and discharged on May 11. Since then, he has been helping patients by donating plasma. Plasma therapy involves transfusion of plasma from a recovered coronavirus patient, who has developed antibodies, to a patient with symptoms.
On May 30, he donated plasma for the first time. “My plasma has been administered to at least four patients and I will continue to do it for more people. If I am unable to donate plasma, then I reach out to other people so that a large number of people can benefit from the therapy,” he said.
The first donation was for a patient admitted to Max hospital. “I went to my hometown for a few days and found out that a patient was in a need of plasma. On June 14, I donated for the second time,” he added.
In Delhi, seven institutes, including AIIMS, Maulana Azad Medical College in coordination with ILBS, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, Batra Hospital, Lady Hardinge Medical College, RML Hospital and Max Hospital Saket have been approved to participate in the trials.
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