Plasma therapy to continue in Delhi, says CM Arvind Kejriwal

'Initial results are good and we hope that will continue in the coming days, too'

‘Protect your families’: Delhi CM Kejriwal’s message as lockdown begins Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addresses a digital press conference on COVID-19 | Twitter via PTI

In the backdrop of the Centre issuing a stern cautionary message on using plasma therapy for seriously ill COVID-19 patients, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said the initial results of the trial being carried out in the capital were positive and the trials would continue.

“There is confusion with regard to the trials after the Central government issued a statement. The Centre has only said the trials can be conducted by only those who have been given the permission for it. We have been given permission to carry out trials. The Centre said that the results of the trials are not yet conclusive, and we agree with them,” Kejriwal said.

Addressing the confusion on whether Delhi is carrying on with plasma therapy for COVID-19 patients, he said, “No, we are not stopping the trials. The trials will go on.”

Kejriwal said the initial results were good and the first patient who was given plasma therapy has recovered and was discharged on Thursday. “The initial results are good and we hope that the therapy will yield good results in the coming days also,” he said.

LNJP Hospital in Delhi has been given permission to administer plasma therapy as part of a trial on seriously ill COVID-19 patients. The Delhi government is getting in touch with the around 1,100 people who have recovered from the viral infection in the capital to persuade them to donate their plasma.

Kejriwal said the rise in the number of cases in Delhi is a result of the scaled up testing, which is much higher than in other parts of the country. “Today, in Delhi, for every 10 lakh people, we are conducting 2,300 tests daily. The national average is 500,” he said. He added that the mortality rate, with 59 deaths reported as against a total number of 3,500 cases in Delhi, is also relatively low.

Meanwhile, 40 buses are being dispatched to Kota to bring back students belonging to Delhi, Kejriwal said. He said the students, upon their return, will have to stay in self quarantine for 14 days.

On the issue of migrant workers who want to go back to their home states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand, he said his government was planning their return in coordination with their respective states. “We are in the final stages of planning your return. Till then, my appeal to all of them is to stay in their homes and follow the lockdown norms,” he said.

Kejriwal also announced that his government has decided to double the quantity of ration to be given to poor families for the month of May. Last month, 7.5 kg foodgrains per person was given as against the original five kg. This month, ten kg foodgrains will be given besides a kit comprising some articles of daily use.