Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday (May 1) said the Delhi government will not stop clinical trials of plasma therapy to treat severally-ill COVID-19 patients as its initial results are good.
The announcement came days after the centre said that plasma therapy for treatment of coronavirus patients is at an experimental stage and it has the potential to cause life-threatening complications.
Addressing an online media briefing, Kejriwal said a COVID-19 patient, whose condition was serious, has been discharged from hospital after undergoing plasma therapy and that the Delhi government has got permission from the centre to conduct trials at LNJP Hospital. He also said that the number of coronavirus cases in the national capital is high due to large scale testing being carried out by the Delhi government.
There was confusion over plasma therapy after the centre’s statement, he said, adding that he got phone calls enquiring whether Delhi government will stop its trials. “We are not going to stop clinical trials of plasma therapy. We are getting good results of the therapy. However, it is on trial basis. The results of this therapy are not final yet. We hope that we will soon find a solution,” Kejriwal said.
The central government has said that those who have its permission to conduct plasma therapy trials can go ahead but others, who dont have the necessary permission, should not do it, the chief minister said. He appealed to 1,100 people, who have recovered from the novel coronavirus, to donate their plasma to save lives. “I am happy that almost all of those recovered from COVID-19 are ready to donate their plasma. I want to thank all of them,” he said.
Delhi reported 3,515 COVID-19 cases till Thursday night of which, 1,100 people have been discharged hospitals and there are currently 2,362 active cases, while 59 people have died so far, he said.
“When we see this number, it seems that cases are rapidly increasing in Delhi. It is happening because we are conducting tests on a large scale in Delhi, he said. We are conducting 2,300 tests per 1 million people in Delhi while the figure is around 500 tests per 1 million in country,” he added.
Kejriwal said that the government is identifying more containment zones, but the number has been decreasing over the last few days. To bring back students from Delhi who are stranded in Rajasthans Kota – the coaching hub for engineering and medical aspirants, the Delhi government is sending 40 buses, the chief minister said.
“I was getting many requests from students stranded in Kota and their parents. We are sending 40 buses today (Friday) to Kota to bring them back. By tomorrow (Saturday), they will return to Delhi,” he said. The students will have to go into self-quarantine for 14 days upon returning to Delhi, he said.
The chief minister said that his government is in talks with other states on the movement of migrant workers and will soon come out with a detailed plan. He appealed to migrant workers to stay put and follow lockdown till the time a proper plan is executed.
Kejriwal further announced that free ration being provided to the needy in Delhi will be doubled to 10 kilograms and a kit containing items of daily use like soap, salt and oil will also be distributed to them. Kejriwal, who is also the Aam Aadmi Party national convener, asked party workers to serve the people and show their patriotism towards the country.