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19 donors in 20 days: Gurgaon plasma bank struggles to find more

At a press conference on Tuesday, Civil Surgeon Dr Virender Yada said of the 42 people who had shown interest in donating plasma, several had to be turned away as they did not meet the criteria required for donation. In the end, only 19 people were able to donate.

Written by Sakshi Dayal | Gurgaon | August 19, 2020 7:23:53 pm
Delhi coronavirus cases, coronavirus cases Delhi, Delhi containment zones, Delhi COVID cases, Delhi plasma bank, Delhi news, city news, Indian ExpressSources said officials were motivating remaining six who were fit for donation. (File)

Twenty days after the plasma bank opened in Gurgaon, plasma therapy in the district continues to be hindered by a lack of donors, with health department officials revealing that only 42 of 9,500 people who have recovered from Covid-19 so far have come forward to donate plasma.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Civil Surgeon Dr Virender Yada said of the 42 people who had shown interest in donating plasma, several had to be turned away as they did not meet the criteria required for donation. In the end, only 19 people were able to donate.

“We collected 38 units from the 19 people who donated plasma. Of these, 34 units have already been dispersed and four units are still in the bank,” said Dr Yadav.

“We have been appealing to people to come forward for donations and have even put up around 50 hoardings in the district, but the response has not been what we were hoping for. We are trying to reach out to more people,” he said.

Deputy Commissioner Amit Khatri acknowledged the dearth of plasma donors, but stated the administration may submit a “recommendation” to the state, requesting for “monetary recognition” for donors.

“We do have some plasma available. Unfortunately, we need to push our collection more. We have the capacity for collection and storage, but there is still a gap in donations,” said Khatri.

“Recognition can be in many forms. Monetary recognition is one aspect, but not everything can be decided at the local level. It entails a long process and we will send a recommendation for monetary recognition. However, I have faith that even without this, we will find donors. It depends on us as to how many we are able to reach and motivate them,” he said.

The plasma bank in Gurgaon opened on July 30 “for fair and equitable collection and distribution of plasma”. Units from the bank are “normally” meant to be issued only for patients admitted in Gurgaon.

However, plasma units can be supplied to “critical cases being treated in other districts of Haryana” “at the discretion of the Nodal officer (Plasma).

Officials on Tuesday also acknowledged the fall in cases, with the positivity rate falling to 6.95 % and the doubling rate being “between 94-95%”.

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