Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said that his government will set up a plasma bank in the Capital to help critically ill coronavirus patients.
Convalescent plasma therapy, an experimental treatment for severe cases of the coronavirus, involves giving the blood plasma of an individual who has recovered from the infection to a patient in serious condition. The antibodies in the recovered person’s plasma are expected to improve the condition of the patient requiring treatment.
Kejriwal said that Delhi’s first plasma bank will be set up at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences and begin functioning in two days. “People are struggling to find plasma for coronavirus treatment,” he said during an online media briefing. “The plasma bank which we are setting up in Delhi will perhaps be the first in India.”
The Delhi chief minister added that patients undergoing treatment at both government and private hospitals in the city will be able to get plasma from the bank. Kejriwal, however, said that patients will get plasma only on doctors’ recommendation. “The doctors will approach Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences and get plasma,” he said.
Kejriwal appealed to recovered patients to donate their plasma and help save lives. “People were donating plasma earlier too but now we have created a system,” Kejriwal said. The Delhi chief minister added that recovered patients need not fear getting infected again. “We will provide transportation and launch helpline numbers for people who want to donate plasma,” he said.
Kejriwal had expressed hope about the efficacy of plasma therapy last month after the first patient to be given the treatment in Delhi recovered.
Delhi has had a sharp increase in the number of coronavirus cases. The Capital recorded 2,889 new cases on Sunday, taking the overall tally to 83,077. The toll rose by 65 to 2,623. It is currently the city with the most cases of the virus.