The Delhi government on Wednesday decided to use the plasma enrichment technique to treat severely-ill coronavirus patients on a trial basis as the total number of COVID-19 positive cases in the national capital reached 1,578.
The clinical trial of the plasma enrichment technique will be conducted at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS), according to an official.
In the technique, antibodies from blood of patients, who have recovered from coronavirus, are used to treat severely infected patients. It is aimed at assessing the efficacy of convalescent plasma to limit complications in COVID-19 patients.
Convalescent plasma is an experimental procedure for coronavirus patients.
The total number of COVID-19 cases increased to 1578, with 17 fresh cases and two deaths being reported in a day, according to Delhi government authorities. With two more fatalities reported, the death toll from COVID-19 in Delhi has jumped to 32.
The total number of COVID-19 containment zones has also increased to 56.
In a tweet, Lt Governor Anil Baijal said that the officials concerned have been advised to strictly adhere to guidelines and protocols issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare while dealing with coronavirus patients.
“Delhi to use plasma technique for treatment on trial basis to save life of critical COVID-19 patients. Advised all to strictly adhere to SOPs/guidelines & protocols issued by MoHFW while dealing with COVID-19 patients,” the LG tweeted.
The official said a five-member committee headed by ILBS Director S K Sarin had recommended use of this therapy to treat severally-ill coronavirus patients.
“The Delhi government has received approval from the Union Health Ministry to use convalescent plasma technique on trial basis to save the life of severely-ill COVID-19 patients,” the official said.
Earlier this month, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) sought participation in a randomised controlled study to assess the safety and efficacy of convalescent plasma to limit complications associated with coronavirus.
To deal with issues related to stranded migrant workers, the Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Dev appointed 10 bureaucrats as nodal officers for coordination with resident commissioners to address the concerns of migrant workers in the city amid the on-going lockdown.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday had announced extension of the lockdown until May 3.
The move by Dev comes a day after a large number of migrant workers gathered in Mumbai and Surat despite the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19.
According to an official, the 10 IAS officers will coordinate with resident commissioners of states and union territories to address issues being faced by migrants in Delhi, be it food, shelter, essential supplies, payment of wages or other livelihood issues.
Dev has asked the nodal officers to submit a report twice a week on the efforts and measures taken by them.
In another decision pertaining to migrant workers, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the government has ordered shifting of those people gathered at the Yamuna Ghat.
He said arrangements have been made to provide them food.
The move comes after some media reports highlighted the plight of migrant workers who had taken shelter below a bridge on the banks of the Yamuna in wake of coronavirus lockdown.
The Delhi government also issued revised guidelines for compliance of the second phase of the lockdown as prescribed by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). According to the MHA’s guidelines, industrial units in rural areas will be allowed to function from April 20 provided they follow social distancing norms while all kinds of public transport will be barred and public places closed till May 3.
Wearing masks and face covers in public places will also be compulsory across the country. Besides, spitting in public has been made a punishable offence and a strict ban enforced on the sale of liquor, ‘gutka’ tobacco etc under the new MHA guidelines
The Delhi police booked Tablighi Jamaat cleric Maulana Saad Kandhalvi for culpable homicide after some of the attendees of the religious congregation died due to coronavirus.
Kandhalvi had organised the religious congregation at the Nizamuddin Markaz last month against the social distancing protocol imposed by the Centre to curb the spread of the deadly disease.
An FIR was registered against the cleric on March 31 at Crime Branch police station on a complaint of the Station House Officer of Nizamuddin.
He was earlier booked for holding the event, police said.
The Nizamudddin centre, attended by thousands, turned out to be a hotspot for spread of coronavirus not only in the national capital, but the entire country. More than 25,500 Tablighi members and their contacts have been quarantined in the country after the Centre and the state governments conducted a “mega operation” to identify them.
At least 9,000 people participated in the religious congregation in Nizamuddin. Later, many of the attendees travelled to various parts of the country.
At the LNJP Hospital, a COVID-19 patient allegedly misbehaved with a woman doctor on Tuesday evening, hospital authorities said.
However, police said they have not received any formal complaint.
Cracking down on those violating the lockdown orders, the police has detained 84,030 people since March 24. An ambulance driver was also arrested for ferrying eight people from Haryana to Delhi after charging money.