Treat PIL on availability of plasma as representation: HC

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday directed the authorities to treat as representation and decide expeditiously on a plea seeking the court’s direction to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to constitute a statutory body to regulate smooth availability of plasma in various hospitals.

A division bench of the high court presided over by Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan asked the Centre, the Delhi government and other concerned authorities to treat the petition as a representation and decide on the same expeditiously and in a time-bound manner.

The plea filed by one Piyush Gupta through advocate Kapil Goyal claimed that till now, except for plasma therapy, no other effective tool has been invented to cure Covid-19 patients.

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Senior advocate Rakesh Tikkoo told the bench that despite plasma therapy being a major invention, the government is not taking effective steps to ensure its smooth and sufficient availability.

The plea also sought the court’s direction to make it mandatory for all the hospitals to obtain plasma from the recovered patients — those who were admitted to the hospitals as well as those under home quarantine or isolation — by framing proper guidelines.

The plea contended that plasma therapy helps in declining the death rate and is also helpful for treating an infected person in the absence of a vaccine for Covid-19.

Through his petition, Gupta also claimed that thousands of lives can be saved if sufficient plasma is made available .

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“The PIL seeks indulgence of this court on a very crucial matter, which involves basic survival requirement of every citizen of India, particularly in Delhi where there is rapid surge in Covid-19 cases which is creating havoc and people are getting psychologically weak,” the plea said.

On Thursday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced the opening of the first plasma bank in the country for coronavirus patients in the city, urging Covid survivors to come forward and donate plasma to save people’s lives.

Kejriwal also launched a helpline number to register names for plasma donation. “Those who want to donate can call directly on 1031 or WhatsApp on 8800007722 and the hospital will get in touch with you,” he said.

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