Delhi govt to a start plasma bank for treatment of COVID-19 patients: CM Arvind Kejriwal

  • Plasma Bank will be set up at the ILBS hospital, the Delhi govt will ensure proper safety of the donors: CM Arvind Kejriwal
  • Setting up of the plasma bank by the Delhi govt to treat the COVID patients is the first of its kind initiative in the country: CM Arvind Kejriwal
  • Every patient, whether admitted to a private hospital or a govt hospital, will receive plasma; plasma will only be given after doctor’s prescription: CM Arvind Kejriwal
  • I request the recovered COVID patients to come forward and donate plasma to save lives, request media to run campaigns to motivate people to donate plasma: CM Arvind Kejriwal
  • So far, around 34 out of 35 patients have survived because of plasma therapy in LNJP, 46 out of 49 patients have survived due to this in private hospitals: CM Arvind Kejriwal

CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said a plasma bank will be started in Delhi for the treatment of coronavirus patients. The plasma bank will start operation in the next two days. CM Kejriwal appealed to the patients who have recovered from COVID-19, to donate their plasma and urged the media to run campaigns to motivate more and more people to donate plasma and save lives. The Delhi CM explained that the Plasma Bank will be set up at the ILBS hospital and the Delhi government will ensure full safety of the donors. He said that every patient, whether admitted to a private hospital or a government hospital, will receive plasma from the bank. However, Plasma will be given only after a doctor’s prescription. CM Kejriwal said that the setting up of the Plasma Bank by the Delhi government to treat the COVID patients is the first of its kind initiative in the country.
Addressing a digital press briefing on Monday, CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal said, “Until a few weeks back, there was a shortage of beds in Delhi. People started struggling for beds during the first week of June, and people were running from hospital to hospital in search of beds. I used to receive calls late at night, and I used to be awake all night to get beds arranged for the people in different hospitals. In the last month, we took various steps because of which there are a sufficient number of beds in Delhi. Now, there are 13500 beds in Delhi, out of which 6000 beds are occupied and 7500 remain vacant.” 
“But since the last few days, I have observed that there is chaos regarding the high-demand for plasma therapy in Delhi. I am now getting calls from people asking for plasma trials for their relatives and family members who are admitted to hospitals. Around two months ago, Delhi was one of the first states to start plasma therapy trials. In the first phase, we conducted plasma therapy trials on 29 patients, and you may remember that the results were very positive. People suffering from Corona suffer most because of two things, his oxygen level falls. The normal oxygen level should be 95, but it is dangerous when it falls to 90, 85, or 80. Second, the respiration level increases drastically, wherein the patient starts experiencing breathlessness. The ideal respiration level should be 15, but in Corona, it increases up to 20, 25, and in some cases, it goes up to more than 30.” CM Arvind Kejriwal said that it has been observed that plasma therapy helps increase oxygen levels and stabilize the respiratory rate of patients. 
“We had submitted the results of the first 29 plasma therapy trials to the centre and the central govt allowed plasma therapy trials in Delhi govt and many other private hospitals,” said the CM. 
“Even after obtaining permission from the central government, our biggest challenge was arranging plasma for every patient. Plasma can be donated by people who have recovered from Corona, there are antibodies in their blood that save them from Corona. If these antibodies are transfused into other Corona infected patients, the patients also start recovering quickly from Corona,” he added. 
CM  Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that because people have now started struggling to obtain plasma for the therapy process, the Delhi government has decided to set up a plasma bank, which will be one of its kind for the treatment of patients suffering from Corona. “This will probably be the first plasma bank of the country. We are not claiming that only the govt will be able to take plasma if a patient needs plasma and his/her family can arrange for plasma from somebody who wants to donate, they must do so. Our motive is to aggravate the already existing efforts on this procedure. All the arrangements and formalities for setting up the bank have been done in the last 2-3 days. Any active COVID patients admitted in both private and government hospitals would be able to avail of plasma from this bank. The plasma bank will be set up in the ILBS hospital of the Delhi govt. If a patient needs plasma, their doctor has to recommend plasma therapy and it cannot be randomly sought by any COVID patient. After a recommendation, the concerned hospital or the doctor has to inform ILBS for plasma. This plasma bank will begin in two days and all the modalities will be finalized until then,” said CM Kejriwal. 
CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal appealed to the patients who have recovered from Corona to come forward and donate plasma. He said, “Patients who have recovered should come out and donate plasma. I know that they are still doing it, but there are no major arrangements to do that. This will establish a proper plasma therapy system in the city. We hardly get chances of saving people’s lives, this is your chance to save lives. I want to request you with folded hands to come and donate plasma so that lives can be saved. This is like worshipping God in its truest sense.” 
“I want to make it clear that plasma is not the ultimate cure of Corona, not all lives can be saved by it. It is extremely difficult to save the patient who is in his last stage of infection, is suffering from multi-organ failures and extreme co-morbidities. But it is helpful for patients with moderate symptoms, mainly those whose condition is not serious yet. I talked to Dr. Suresh, who is the head of the LNJP Hospital. He informed me that in the last few days, he has given plasma therapy trials to 35 patients, out of which 34 people have survived and one patient passed away. Another hospital in Delhi gave plasma trials to 49 patients, out of which 46 survived,” he added.
Urging more Covid-19 recovered patients to donate blood plasma in the coming days, CM Arvind Kejriwal said, “There are some misconceptions amongst plasma donors. They feel that if they go to a COVID hospital to donate plasma, they might get infected again. This is not true, you will not get infected again. We have made proper arrangements in ILBS hospital that is not a Corona hospital. The government will also be paying for their conveyance if and when they say yes to donating plasma. The whole procedure takes around 30-45 minutes.” 
In the next few days, the government will set up a helpline in which potential plasma donors can call or WhatsApp. They will be contacted and all arrangements of the donation will be made accordingly. He also said that the health officials from the govt would also start calling recovered Covid-19 patients and convince them to donate plasma.
CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal said, “The antibody tests will be conducted in Delhi to avail information on the antibodies level in the patients who have recovered from Corona. As per the records, there are 52,000 people in Delhi who had Corona, recovered from it, but they did not even feel it.” 
“Media has a huge and very important role to play in this initiative. There should be no politics on the matter. We have to save every life, be it from any caste, class, religion, or party. This also includes people from all professions. I want to request my media friends to run campaigns to inspire and motivate people to donate plasma and save more and more lives in the coming days,” he added.