New Delhi, April 24 : Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said the initial results of the plasma therapy used on four coronavirus patients in the city were encouraging.
The Chief Minister, while speaking to media, said in the last few days, the government had tried plasma therapy on four patients at the Lok Nayak Hospital and two of these patients may be discharged from the hospital soon.
Last week, the Central government allowed the Delhi government to try plasma therapy on the patients recovering from coronavirus.
"Once a person recovers from corona, antibodies are formed in his blood, which is then transferred into a recovering person's body.
We got the trial permission for patients admitted to the Lok Nayak hospital," he said.
Dr S.K. Sarin, head of Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS), was monitoring the whole project, said the Chief Minister.
Sarin told media that they were hopeful more people could be given the therapy.
He said the initial plan was to use plasma therapy as per the age-old traditions, as it had also been used in the 1900s.
"This virus has three phases, first is when the virus enters the body, second is the pulmonary phase which affects the lungs and causes difficulty in breathing.
The third phase is when cytokines are released which produce substances that can kill the virus. The third stage involves high risk as it can lead to organ failure," the doctor added.
He said if the person is treated through plasma therapy in the second stage itself, "we can neutralize the virus as well as stop organ failure.
So, we can treat a person who is in the second stage and has not reached the third stage."
He also said that they have seen positive results of plasma therapy in the first four patients.
"We will also be testing the therapy on 2-3 patients in the Lok Nayak hospital, and I hope that it works.
Our main aim through this therapy is to not let any sick person reach the third stage, which we call the 'cytokine storm', and cure their lung infection as well."
Sarin said along with the benefits, they also have to know that only those who have recovered from corona will have to donate their blood.
"We need people to show their patriotism by donating blood so the others can be treated.
We have people who lost their lives because we did not get blood from anywhere."
Sarin explained that the plasma is extracted from the blood of the person who has recovered and the rest of the blood goes back into their body.
He said the donation can help save the lives of many patients across Delhi.
"Plasma therapy is also inexpensive as compared to the other medical treatments and medicines that our country cannot afford to import from other countries.
I would like to appeal to the people who have recovered from corona and donate their blood, and we will be able to show better results in the next 10 days."
Sarin said two out of the four patients on whom the plasma therapy has been tried may be discharged from the hospital today or tomorrow.
"The remaining two have not shown any reaction from the plasma transplant."
Kejirwal said the city government had got the permission of limited trials by the Central government.
"After the next 2-3 more trials, we will apply for permission for plasma therapy to be given to serious corona patients across Delhi," Kejriwal said.
He said these are the initial results..this should not be treated as a cure for corona.
Kejriwal appealed to the recovered patients to donate their plasma to help other patients recover and contain the fatalities caused by the deadly virus.
"It is the responsibility of the people who have recovered to come forward and help those who are still recovering.
Your plasma will be transferred only to those patients who are very critical. You will be saving the lives of people."
Delhi has reported 50 COVID deaths so far.