Rajesh Tope, Maharashtra Health Minister, on Wednesday, July 22, announced that the government would set up plasma banks in Malegaon. Malegaon, which also happens to be the hotbed for the coronavirus, is a city and a municipal corporation in the Nashik District of the Indian state of Maharashtra.
Tope added that since plasma therapy has been showing systematic results, a plan to set up plasma banks in all government colleges and hospitals was in the works. Furthermore, like Dharavi, since Malegaon has a large number of people who were infected with the coronavirus and have now recovered, it would be easier to take the blood plasma from them and inject it into the patients who have been newly diagnosed with COVID-19.
Convalescent plasma therapy involves using the blood of people who have recovered from the infection as it contains antibodies. Antibodies are molecules that have learned to recognize and fight the pathogens, such as viruses, that have caused the said disease. Medical practitioners can separate the plasma, one of the blood components that contain such antibodies, and administer it to people whose bodies are currently fighting the infectious disease. This can help their immune systems reject the pathogen more efficiently.
Dharavi, which had been a hotbed for the coronavirus, is also said to witness a plasma donation camp. This is being initiated and overlooked by the Police in the area. The people who had battled the coronavirus and recovered were screened earlier in the week. According to sources, in the next phase, people living in the city who have defeated the coronavirus will be screened. This will be followed by the donation camp that will be held on July 27.
Patients who have recovered after battling the coronavirus can donate plasma after 28 days. However, the ones suffering from diabetes will not be allowed to donate plasma. Only those who are healthy, without comorbidities, can participate in this process.