Guwahati: A COVID-19 positive doctor has become the first donor of Plasma Bank has been set up at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Guwahati, in the wake of the steady and alarming rise in Covid-19 cases in Assam.
"Glad to share that we've started a Plasma Bank at GMCH. The first convalescent donor is a doctor himself, a COVID-19 patient. My gratitude to Dr Lithikesh for donating his plasma, and to the team who is working on this bank. I encourage cured patients to come forward and donate", Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted.
Glad to share that we've started a #PlasmaBank at GMCH. The first convalescent donor is a doctor himself, a #COVID19 patient. My gratitude to Dr Lithikesh for donating his plasma, and to the team who is working on this bank.— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) July 3, 2020
I encourage cured patients to come forward & donate. pic.twitter.com/VJKa0qZjy9
Days earlier, Sarma had said that the state is ready to begin plasma therapy for people scouting for convalescent plasma for their friends and family. Recently, the state's health department held talks with Delhi's Max hospital for taking the hospital's help in setting up a plasma bank for the benefit of COVID-19 patients.
The state health department has begun plasma therapy and has also introduced Covid-19 antigen tests (for the express purpose of speeding up tests) after the detection of moderate level symptomatic corona cases, which necessitates the employment of advanced technologies. The objective behind the introduction of plasma therapy in the state is to reduce the complications of serious COVID-19 patients, as well as the discharge of the symptomatic patients.
In this particular therapy, doctors transfuse convalescent plasma from someone who has recovered from COVID-19 into patients who are sick. Convalescent plasma is the liquid part of blood from people who've recovered from COVID-19. The idea behind this principle is that recovered COVID-19 patients' plasma contains antibodies that might help fight the virus.
In Guwahati, especially, the outbreak has reached a "critical" stage as many cases have been detected at the community level, without any travel history whatsoever. To bring the rampant spread of the virus under control, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has urged the Government to conduct at least 10,000 tests in Guwahati city.
With the procurement of 2 lakh Rapid Point of Care Antigen Detection Test kits, a new tool approved by Indian Council of Medical Research for quick diagnosis of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, this could become a possibility. Additionally, a new website -- covidassam.in -- will enable people to check their results without hours of giving their swabs.