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Saturday, September 19, 2020

To check potential surge in Covid-19 cases, Goa govt pushes for plasma donation drive

According to officials at the Directorate of Health Services, around 11,000 people who contracted the virus have recovered and thus are “eligible candidates” for plasma donations.

By: Express News Service | Panaji | August 29, 2020 7:59:50 am
goa, goa news, goa covid cases, goa coronavirus, goa plasma therapy, goa plasma donation drive, indian expressA recovered Covid-19 patient donates blood products, known as convalescent plasma. (AP Photo: Arnulfo Franco, File)

With Goa expecting a surge in Covid-19 cases by the first week of September following the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, the state government has appealed for plasma donations and hopes that people who have recovered from the virus will come forward.

State Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said, “We need to aggressively push for a plasma donation drive and hence I would appeal to the Chief Minister to have a state level platform… We need to keep politics aside and hence I would appeal to all MLAs to participate in this drive.”

The government on Monday is set to reach out to opposition MLAs and also the administration of containment zones areas to make announcements to patients to come out and donate plasma if they have recovered.

According to officials at the Directorate of Health Services, around 11,000 people who contracted the virus have recovered and thus are “eligible candidates” for plasma donations.

According to Rane, an “aggressive donation drive” will go public from Monday, with the Goa government appealing to all those who have recovered from the virus and have tested negative over a period of 28 days. Teams will also be visiting the Covid facilities in the state and will appeal to patients still admitted in them to return after 28 days to donate plasma.

The government has also appealed to doctors conducting inquiries of those in home isolation to counsel patients to come to Goa Medical College and donate plasma. The drive is also being designed to assure patients “not be afraid of the stigma” and “be a saviour”, said Rane.

The government has also applauded the efforts of plasma donors Derek Coelho and Sayed Hasan, who have appealed to others to also come forward.

“Our requirement is we need at least 25 packets per day, but we are getting four or five per day. We are having a deficit of 20. We have called Coelho and Hasan to honour them. The message we want to give is if you donate, then collectively we can save lives,” said Goa Medical College dean Dr Shivanand Bandekar.

According to Bandekar, ten people who donate plasma daily will translate to 25 packets of plasma, which will see “good number of lives saved”.

Officials and doctors from AIIMS, Delhi who were down to Goa to check on Union Minister Shripad Naik’s health have approved of using plasma on coronavirus patients. “This will help us stock up on medicines and rely less on other, more expensive methods… We want to push for more donations as this will be a great support in our collective fight,” said Bandekar.

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