The Assam government Friday opened a plasma bank at the Gauhati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) for treating coronavirus patients. The first donor was Dr Likhitesh, a post-graduate student of medicine at GMCH, who had tested positive for the disease in May, and was later cured.
State Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma took to Twitter to express his gratitude to Dr Likhitesh for donating plasma, and to the team working at the bank. “Glad to share that we’ve started a Plasma Bank at GMCH. The first convalescent donor is a doctor himself, a COVID-19 patient. My gratitude to Dr Lithikesh for donating his plasma, and to the team who is working on this bank. I encourage cured patients to come forward and donate,” he tweeted.
Glad to share that we’ve started a #PlasmaBank at GMCH. The first convalescent donor is a doctor himself, a #COVID19 patient. My gratitude to Dr Lithikesh for donating his plasma, and to the team who is working on this bank.
I encourage cured patients to come forward & donate. pic.twitter.com/VJKa0qZjy9
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) July 3, 2020
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Health Pijush Hazarika told IndianExpress.com, “We should be inspired by Dr Likhitesh. Even when he was in the Covid ward, he was guiding other patients himself. Yesterday he volunteered to donate plasma.”
Hazarika said authorities had reached out to more donors. “It will take a little time but we are confident that people will donate. Plasma therapy can be a game-changer for moderate cases,” he said.
Assam reported 365 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday, taking the state’s total to 9,799. Of the new cases, 134 were from Guwahati.
Sarma has been issuing appeals for residents of Guwahati to follow social distancing norms and take precautions. The city has been in lockdown since June 28. Restrictions will extend till 6 pm on July 12. “The need for caution can’t be overemphasised,” Sarma had said on his Twitter handle.
Earlier this week, Union Home Minister Amit Shah in a telephonic conversation with Sarma suggested the state government conduct 10,000 tests per day in Guwahati in view of the rising cases. The new testing regime involves a ‘Q Covid-19 Ag’ test, through which samples can be obtained within 15 minutes to an hour.