Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal inaugurated Delhi's second plasma bank at the state-run Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital on Tuesday, and asserted that plasma therapy was "really helpful" in saving lives of Covid-19 patients.
Kejriwal inaugurated the first plasma bank at the state-run Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences on July 2. He said over 200 people have taken plasma from ILBS so far.
"Plasma therapy is really helpful in saving lives. We cannot say it can save 100 percent of the lives...but the death rate has reduced in Delhi and plasma has a role in it," the chief minister said at the launch.
The LNJP Hospital is located in central Delhi, so it is easily accessible to those willing to donate plasma, he said.
Covid-19 patients can donate their plasma 14 days after recovery.
Such people should aged between 18 and 60 and weigh not less than 50 kg.
However, women who have been pregnant, people with diabetes, hypertension, cancer survivors, those with chronic heart, liver, lung and kidney diseases and high blood pressure cannot donate plasma.
"We do not want to store plasma in plasma bank forever, but no one should suffer for lack of plasma either. The arrangement should be such that those needing plasma get it easily. So far, no one has been denied plasma," Kejriwal said.
He said his government will continue setting up facilities and beds even if the beds for COVID-19 patients remain vacant to ensure there is no shortage if the cases increase.
He said the spread of COVID-19 in Delhi is gradually reducing.
"The recovery rate is increasing very fast. Earlier, 35 out of 100 people tested would be diagnosed with coronavirus. Now only 7 or 8 people out of 100 are found positive.
The chief minister said the number of fatalities has also decreased.
"In mid-June, there were about 101 deaths per day but there are about 40 deaths now. All of us together have to reduce it further," he said.
However, Kejriwal cautioned people against any complacency.
"Nothing is known about COVID-19, it may rise again tomorrow. Therefore, we need to take precautions. We always have to wear a mask, maintain social distancing, wash our hands and sanitize them repeatedly," he said.
He also said the city government has successfully implemented the home isolation programme and there has been no death among those undergoing home isolation.
Kejriwal said he was happy that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also praised the model implemented in Delhi and everyone's cooperation in it.
In the last one month, the people of Delhi, doctors, nurses, paramedic staff, governments including central and Delhi governments, religious, cultural, and voluntary organisations fought together against the deadly disease, he said.
"We realized that a huge epidemic like this cannot be fought alone. We took everyone along. We also approached the central government and social service organisations. There are many NGOs of retired doctors in Delhi, such as StepOne and Doctors For U, which are helping us in this fight," he said.