Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Sunday launched ‘Plasma Donation Campaign’ in association with Delhi Police at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here.
Speaking about the initiative, Dr Vardhan said, “In this war against COVID-19, corona warriors have played an important role. In Delhi, 2,532 police coronavirus warriors have been affected and some even lost their lives. To ensure safety against the virus, several attempts are being made. It is necessary to give plasma donation a bigger platform.”
He said that the invention of medicines and vaccines against COVID-19 is underway and plasma donation is being used for some serious patients. He added that two candidates for the vaccine have started human trials but time for the scientific process cannot be predicted.
“A large number of Delhi Police personnel have stepped forward and donated plasma at AIIMS. I congratulate them. They are not just corona warriors, they are plasma warriors as well. I hope with this campaign, recovered patients will be inspired and step forward to donate plasma. Any recovered patient can donate plasma twice a month,” he added.
“Today Delhi Police and AIIMS have started plasma donation campaign and several corona warriors donated plasma. There is a policeman Om Prakash who has donated for the third time. We do not have specific antiviral treatment, the treatment is supported,” said Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS.
“If plasma is donated, we can use it in the treatment to save patients. It is a noble cause. I appeal to other COVID-19 warriors to step forward and become plasma warriors as well,” he added.
“Delhi Police has been part of government efforts against COVID-19. Several policemen have been affected and they recovered also. The recovery rate in Delhi Police is 84 per cent. A large number of policemen have come forward to donate plasma,” said a Delhi police official.
“We have tied up with AIIMS to provide plasma to the needy patients. This plasma donation camp will encourage the public to donate. As a team we have seen that policemen are healthy and motivated,” he added.
According to a press release by the government, “Plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients contains protective antibodies to the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus. It can provide immunity to patients of COVID-19 when transfused. Considering its potential benefit, plasma therapy is provided to those patients who are not responding to conventional treatment.”
“The blood bank will assess their eligibility for blood donation and check the level of COVID-19 protective antibody levels in their blood before they can donate. The blood of a survivor usually has a high concentration of such antibodies and when given to a susceptible person, these antibodies circulate in blood, reach tissues and neutralise the virus,” the release said.