New Delhi, July 10 (IANS) Aam Aadmi Party lawmaker Raghav Chadha who is looking after the Delhi governments plasma bank project on Friday said that “warriors” who defeated COVID-19 shall now turn into “saviours” by donating their plasma for the treatment of others in order to combat the deadly coronavirus.
“At this point we have a lot warriors, who have come back after fighting and defeating the COVID-19 virus, now, it’s time for these warriors turn into saviours by coming forward and saving someone’s life,” said Chadha while appealing to recovered patients to come out in large numbers to donate.
The appeal from the senior AAP leader comes at a time when the national capital has already touched approximately 1.10 lakh cases and more than 3,250 deaths. Though the city had witnessed the highest single-day peak of 3,947 cases on June 23, but, the number has come down steadily since then despite the number of tests increasing.
While the city is showing good signs of rejuvenation with a recovery rate nearing to 75 per cent, the plasma therapy is being looked into as the one-stop solution in fighting the deadly virus in absence of a vaccine. But, the major issue which remains is the gap in the demand and supply of plasma.
Narrating about the challenges being faced by the Delhi government in bridging this gap, the AAP leader said, “The people who have recovered from this virus of course have this fear in their mind that if they visit a hospital facility again they will probably get infected.”
He also said that another fear that the people have is with respect to the weakness that donating plasma may cause and hence, they don’t want to step out of their houses just yet. Therefore, a lot of effort is going in to convincing the recovered patients those who have fought to Covid-19 disease to come forward and become a saviour.
“So, we are in that process and are trying to convince people but yes of course as the Chief Minister said during the launch of this project that number of donors is less than the number of those who want the plasma so I hope with more awareness campaigns and also with the help from the media,” he added.
He added that the government would plan on expanding this plasma facility once the number of plasma donors increase and more and more people come out to help others in battling COVID-19 by being a part of this noble cause.
“Currently, we are having around 8 plasma machines which are being fully utilized. Once the optimum capacity is reached, the government would plan on expanding this facility. It totally depends on the supply and demand,” Chadha mentioned.
While a lot of questions are being raised on the Delhi government over its preparedness to tackle with one of the worst health crisis till now, the AAP leader said that till the Delhi government completed its assessment, a lot of activities began to happen.
“Chief Minister brought out a special strategy to fight this health crisis, he sought help from everyone be it NGOs, be it corporates etc. The main aim was to increase the number of beds. We now see hotels and banquets, railway coaches, Radha Swami COVID centre etc in order to cater to those who get infected,” Chadha said.
“The second most priority was to increase the number of tests because the more you test, the more you are able to analyse the extent of this spread and can cater to the containment of this disease. Third was home isolation, oximeters were provided to patients and oxiconcentrators were also provided to the people whose oxygen levels were fluctuating,” he said.
He added that the fourth and fifth point under this plan were to conduct a survey of the capital and the increase of plasma therapy. “Plasma therapy is acting as a ultimate weapon in the fight against COVID-19 and hence, the idea of this plasma bank was taken forward by the Chief Minister and now we have India’s first plasma bank in Delhi’s Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) Hospital,” Chadha said.
The Delhi government has ordered the Delhi Plasma Bank at ILBS to collect replacement convalescent plasma against the plasma issued to patients suffering from COVID-19.
While the official order came on Thursday, the plasma bank had started asking for replacement from Sunday after it received the direction from the office of Deputy Chief Minister, informed Dr Shantanu Dubry, in-charge of issuing plasma at the bank.
Earlier this month, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced the opening of the first plasma bank in the country for coronavirus patients in the city, urging Covid survivors to come forward and donate plasma to save people’s lives.
Kejriwal also launched a helpline number to register names for plasma donation. “Those who want to donate can call directly on 1031 or WhatsApp on 8800007722 and the hospital will get in touch with you,” he said.