India's first plasma bank was inaugurated in Delhi this afternoon by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as he appealed to all those who can donate plasma to come forward and help others.
The Delhi government has launched the country's first plasma bank at the ILBS Hospital, the ruling Aam Aadmi Party tweeted. "So far, people have been facing many hassles in getting plasma for coronavirus treatment. I hope they will get some relief now. I also hope more and more will now come forward to donate plasma. Unless it's donated, how will others get it," Mr Kejriwal said during a virtual press conference.
The Chief Minister then explained what makes a person eligible to donate plasma. "If you have fully recovered from coronavirus and are free of symptoms for 14 days, you can donate plasma," the 51-year-old AAP leader said.
Plasma therapy involves transfusion of plasma from a convalescent coronavirus patient to a critical patient. The blood of a convalescent patient is rich in antibodies that are expected to help the critical patient recover.
Those aged between 18 and 60 years and weighing not less than 50 kg can also donate.
3. We will provide refreshments during your visit to the Plasma Bank.— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) July 2, 2020
4. You will receive a Plasma Donor Certificate signed by the Hon'ble Chief Minister, Delhi.
*Donate now:* https://t.co/jsU7p3y4H7
A person, who has diabetes or insulin, or is a cancer survivor is not eligible to donate. If an individual's blood pressure is more than 140 and diastolic less than 60 or more than 90, he or she can't donate plasma.
"You have uncontrolled diabetes or hypertension with change in medication in last 28 days or if you have chronic kidney, heart, lung or liver disease, you can't donate plasma," Mr Kejriwal said, adding that women, who have ever been pregnant, are also not eligible to donate.
Those willing to donate plasma can register themselves by contacting the Delhi government officials by calling 1031 or on Whatsapp number - 8800007722.
"Once you register, a doctor will call you to ensure you are eligible to donate plasma. It takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour to donate plasma. Blood donation can cause weakness, plasma donation doesn't. Rarely do we get such opportunities to serve others," the Chief Minister said this afternoon.
Donors will also get a certificate - Gaurav Patra- signed by the Chief Minster.
With over 89,000 total cases, Delhi has the highest number of cases in India after Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
This afternoon, Arvind Kejriwal said: "The number of deaths linked to COVID-19 registered in a single day (in Delhi) have reduced. Till the time a vaccine comes, plasma treatment will be helpful. We are hoping that this will reduce the number of deaths. I have heard, Maharashtra has started trials on a huge scale. This is a matter of great happiness. We all need to learn from each other at this time."
Across India, the number of coronavirus infections has crossed the six lakh-mark; more than 17,000 patients have died so far.