India opens its first plasma bank in New Delhi to tackle Covid-19

New Delhi, Jul 2 (efe-epa).- The Chief Minister of Delhi on Thursday inaugurated India’s first plasma bank to try and save the lives of critical Covid-19 patients in a city that has accounted for almost 90,000 of the more than 600,000 confirmed cases in the country.

Arvind Kejriwal made the announcement at a virtual press conference and urged people who were eligible to donate to come forth and help fight the disease, for which there is no known cure yet.

“This is probably the country’s first plasma bank. So far people were having difficulty in getting plasma and there were reports of much chaos in Delhi. We hope that after this plasma bank, the people will not face this problem again,” said Kejriwal.

The plasma bank, situated at New Delhi’s state-run Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences hospital, will accept plasma donations from patients who have recovered from the novel coronavirus and have been free of any symptoms of the coronavirus for at least 14 days.

Moreover, to be eligible, donors also need to be within the age of 18-60, weigh not less than 50 kilograms, be free of blood sugar problems, hypertension, and chronic heart, lung or liver ailments, besides not having suffered from cancer or undergone pregnancy (for women).

Hyperimmune plasma is obtained from the blood of donors who have developed antibodies after having recovered from the coronavirus. It is then transfused into critically ill Covid-19 patients to help them fight the disease and accelerate their recovery.

“Until a vaccine is developed, plasma will prove to be useful. I am not claiming that all deaths will stop because of plasma, but definitely hoping that deaths will reduce,” said the chief minister, underlining that “we get very few opportunities in life when we can save lives.”

New Delhi has so far recorded 2,803 of the total 17,834 deaths from Covid-19 in the south Asian country.

Kejriwal also called for help from the media through campaigns to help “remove people’s misconceptions” regarding plasma donation, and encourage those eligible to come and donate “so that lives may be saved.”

He added that donors will receive a “Gaurav Patra” certifying their contribution towards the society.

The inauguration of the plasma bank comes as the total number of Covid-19 cases in India continues to rise, reaching 604,641, according to latest official figures.

It is currently fourth in the list of countries with the most number of infections, behind the United States and Brazil, and marginally behind Russia. EFE-EPA


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