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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Delhi: 26 cops lead plasma push at AIIMS camp

“I had recovered from Covid-19 in May and realised I was eligible, so I called up the number, and on June 2, I donated plasma for the first time. Thankfully, the patient recovered... We are friends now,” said Delhi Police constable Om Prakash.

Written by Somya Lakhani | New Delhi | Updated: July 20, 2020 3:41:34 am
Coronavirus pandemic, AIIMS camp, plasma donation, delhi police, indian express news Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava and AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria with constable Naveen Kumar (29) at AIIMS, Sunday. (Source: Twitter)

On May 29, Delhi Police constable Om Prakash (31) came across a social media post regarding a diabetic patient’s “urgent plasma need” in Kapashera. The post mentioned a phone number and name of the hospital. “I had recovered from Covid-19 in May and realised I was eligible, so I called up the number, and on June 2, I donated plasma for the first time. Thankfully, the patient recovered… We are friends now. He says he will meet me after Covid-19 is over,” said Om Prakash.

On June 23, the constable landed up at a private hospital to donate plasma to a colleague’s wife, only to realise she had been administered the therapy already. In the hospital, he met a man whose elder brother, a 60-year-old retired Army officer, too needed plasma. “Since I was already at the hospital, I got my test done and donated plasma. The patient is fine, and his brother too is in touch with me,” he said.

On Sunday, the constable donated plasma for the third time, at AIIMS, during the ‘plasma donation campaign’ launched by the hospital along with Delhi Police. On day one, 26 police personnel from across districts donated plasma, in the presence of Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, Commissioner of Delhi Police S N Shrivastava, and AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria. “Every single donor counts in our journey towards victory over Covid-19, and we need more of these Corona warriors,” Dr Harsh Vardhan said. So far, over 2,500 Delhi Police personnel have contracted the virus, of whom over 2,100 have recovered and returned to duty, said Delhi Police’s additional PRO Anil Mittal.

Constable Om Prakash said that apart from helping people, he hopes “public perception of the police too will change because of this”. Among the donors on Sunday was constable Hema Bhajantri (32) of North Rohini police station, who tested positive for the virus on June 6. She said, “I live in government quarters with my 57-year-old mother, brother, his wife, and their three-year-old daughter. As soon as I tested positive for Covid, I told my seniors it was not possible to self-isolate at home. We have only one toilet. I was immediately moved to a guest house, provided food as well as a caretaker to check up on me once a day,” said Bhajantri.

She had mild symptoms such as weakness and a bad throat. “My mother was hesitant about me donating plasma but I told her it’s safe and won’t impact me physically. We often read about people desperately looking for plasma and not getting it. I hope people who’ve recovered are inspired to donate. This is the proudest moment of my life,” she said.

Also present at the hospital Sunday was constable Naveen Kumar (29) of Paschim Vihar (east) police station, deployed at Jwala Heri market, who had tested positive on June 3. Days later, his 26-year-old wife Nisha, a healthcare worker at a private hospital, too tested positive, and the couple underwent home quarantine. “We had mild symptoms but all those infected aren’t as lucky. People need this, and I will be happy to donate again. I want my colleagues to be inspired and my daughter to be proud of me,” he said.

Late March, Naveen and Nisha sent their three-year-old daughter to their village near Sonepat to live with her grandparents. “We’ve only met her twice since March-end. This was a tough call but we are both frontline workers and realised we wouldn’t be able to manage work and ensure her safety,” he said.

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