Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday announced setting up of a 'plasma bank' to save lives of serious COVID-19 patients in the national capital.
Addressing an online media briefing, the chief minister said the bank will start working in the next two days, adding that the AAP government will encourage those who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate their plasma.
The chief minister said that a helpline will be set up by the government for queries related to donation of plasma.
Kejriwal said that his government has so far conducted clinical trial of plasma therapy on 29 COVID-19 patients and the result was "encouraging".
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
The chief minister also announced that a sum of Rs one crore will be given to the family of LNJP Dr Aseem Gupta, who died due to COVID-19.
The 52-year-old doctor served in the front line of the war against the pandemic at the government facility, and died of novel coronavirus infection in an ICU of a private hospital on Sunday.