SHILLONG, Aug 3 - The Meghalaya government is planning to open a plasma bank in the State in consultation with the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS) authorities.
Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said after a review meeting today, it was decided to explore the option to open the plasma bank in the State. He said that consultations have begun with NEIGRIHMS authorities to open the plasma bank in the state. �Once the consultation process is over, we will take a decision,� the Deputy CM said.
Plasma bank is akin to a blood bank in which a person donates blood. The only difference in this case is that patients who have recovered from COVID-19 donate blood in this plasma bank.
Studies show that the plasma which is donated by the recovered COVID-19 patient has antibodies, which helps to fight the virus.
So when the same blood is clinically administered to other COVID-19 patients, it assists in strengthening the antibodies and subsequent recovery and the process is called plasma therapy.
The first plasma bank in India was opened in New Delhi on July 2. After that, several other states have shown interest in having such a plasma bank and reports suggest that plasma therapy is safe and helps in curing the infection and has no side-effects.
However, to have a plasma bank there has to be an adequate number of COVID-19 patients who have recovered and are willing to donate their plasma. Meghalaya now has a large number of COVID-19 patients.
Till this evening, there were 21 new active cases and the total number of active cases has reached 633 in the State. Altogether, 902 COVID-19 cases have been reported so far, out of which 264 have recovered and five expired.
The cases have been reported mostly in East Khasi Hills which has 518 active cases and a large number (226) are BSF personnel, 59 armed forces and rest others. To prevent the spread, several localities have been notified as containment zones in the State Capital.
However, Tynsong said that the State Government has decided that it would notify �micro containment zones� as there were reports that residents of localities were facing hardship in containment zones.
�Containment zone would be notified on a micro level and not the entire locality so that residents in such areas don�t face hardship,� Tynsong added.
Samples collected: Meanwhile, the district veterinary officer of West Khasi Hills district has collected the samples of six pigs, out of the 15 which died at Lamin village recently. The samples have been sent to North Eastern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Khanapara for analysis.
Tynsong said the report would be sent to the Central Government and based on its advice the State Government would take a decision.
However, an advisory has been circulated among the people residing in the affected areas not to consume pork, while several awareness campaigns are on as well as measures to disinfect pigsties.