New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday suggested to the Delhi government to "chase" celebrities who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma and also give a statement encouraging others to also donate.
The suggestion by a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli came after the court was told that people, who have recovered from COVID, come forward to donate plasma only if some relatives or friends are involved.
The court was also told by some lawyers present in the hearing that some people are also scared of coming to plasma banks or hospitals for donation as there is a possibility they might get infected.
The bench said something has to be done, steps have to be taken to streamline the process of plasma donation, so that it is donor friendly and people can donate without having to worry about getting infected.
"For that you need publicity, you need propaganda. You need to convince people and that can only happen if they see someone they know coming forward to donate.
"So, go and chase the celebrities who got infected and have recovered. Go and chase them for plasma donation and ask them to make a statement," the bench said.
It also asked the Delhi government why the entire donation and issue of plasma takes 4-5 hours or even more.
On this aspect, a Delhi government official told the court that when a donor comes, he/she is asked several questions about their health, then they are sent for sample collection and thereafter, it is tested for various diseases like HIV, hepatitis, malaria, etc and also screened for COVID and the entire process takes around two hours and may take more if there is a backlog.
Subsequently, after the results are received, the process of plasma separation from the blood of the donor takes between 35 to 55 minutes depending upon the thickness of the donor's veins.
After receiving the donor's plasma, the plasma to be issued is taken out from deep freeze and thawed, it is checked for antibodies and compatibility with the recipient and then only it is issued and all that takes another 90 minutes.
"It is a long and tiresome process," the official said and added that the government was now working 24 hours all seven days of the week as they were receiving hundreds of donors each day and it was not possible to take care of all of them during the normal working hours.