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Covid-19 Tally Crosses 85K in Delhi with 2,084 New Cases as CM Arvind Kejriwal Hails 'Plasma Bank'

A health worker takes a nasal sample of a woman for the COVID-19 rapid antigen test in New Delhi. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

A health worker takes a nasal sample of a woman for the COVID-19 rapid antigen test in New Delhi. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

The Delhi government will set up a plasma bank for treatment of COVID-19 patients, as convalescent plasma therapy has shown 'encouraging' results in city hospitals, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said.

  • PTI
  • Last Updated: June 29, 2020, 10:45 PM IST
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The national capital had reported the highest single-day spike of 3,947 cases on June 23. Recently, Delhi had eclipsed Mumbai as the city worst-hit by the pandemic in the country.

Fifty-seven fatalities have been recorded in the last 24 hours, the Delhi health department bulletin said.

It said the death toll due to coronavirus has risen to 2,680 and the total number of cases mounted to 85,161. The number of active cases stands at 26,246, while 56,235 patients have migrated/recovered or have been discharged.

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The Delhi government will set up a first-of-its-kind 'plasma bank' in the country for treatment of COVID-19 patients, as convalescent plasma therapy has shown "encouraging" results in city hospitals, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said.

Addressing an online media briefing, he said the bank will be operational in the next two days. It will be set up at the Delhi government-run Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences and doctors or hospitals will have to approach it for plasma if a COVID-19 patient needs the same.

The chief minister said that the AAP government will encourage those who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate their plasma. A helpline will also be set up for queries related to donation of plasma.

He said that his government will make transportation arrangements for those willing to donate their plasma. Kejriwal said relatives of a COVID-19 patient are free to give plasma to the patient and it is not necessary to

only donate to the bank.

"The plasma bank will be the first-of-its-kind for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. Perhaps, it will be the first plasma bank in the country," he said.

The need for setting up such a bank was felt when people were running from pillar to post to get plasma, he said, adding that both government and private hospitals will be able to get plasma from the facility.

Kejriwal, however, said that plasma therapy is not a "sanjeevani booti" (divine her).

"Usually, it is difficult to save lives of those patients who are in the last stage or with comorbidities and are on ventilator support. Those patients who are in a moderate stage...this therapy is very helpful for them," he said.

In the plasma therapy, antibodies from blood of patients, who have recovered from coronavirus, are used to treat infected patients. It is aimed at assessing the efficacy of convalescent plasma to limit complications in COVID patients.

Kejriwal said that his government has so far conducted clinical trials of plasma therapy on 29 COVID-19 patients and the result was "encouraging".

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, who had tested positive for COVID-19, was administered plasma therapy. He has now recovered.

The chief minister said in the Delhi government-run LNJP Hospital, plasma therapy was conducted on 35 COVID-19 patients and of them, 34 were saved and one patient died. Similarly, 49 patients were administered therapy in private hospitals and 46 people recovered from the deadly virus.

Requesting people to come forward and donate their plasma, he said, "In the entire life, there is a very little chance to save someone's life and you (those recovered from COVID-19) have got this chance," he said.Delhi recorded 2,084 fresh coronavirus cases on Monday taking the infection tally in the city to over 85,000, while the death toll from the disease mounted to 2,680, authorities said.

The number of containment zones in the city also jumped to 435 on Monday, according to a Delhi health department bulletin.

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