Several doctors and health workers of Mumbai’s Wockhardt Hospital – which was declared a containment zone after its staff tested positive for coronavirus- have donated their plasma to treat COVID-19 patients and create awareness among survivors.

Dr Parag Rindani, centre head of the Wockhardt Hospital, who is also a COVID-19 survivor, believes that plasma therapy can prove to be a game-changer in the fight against the virus.

“It has been very heartening to see that our nurses and doctors who fell ill are the first ones to volunteer and to want to come and donate plasma for other patients. It is a life-saving treatment, and we have to understand that as more and more people who get ill recover, their plasma can help save others,” he said.

After the staff recovered, they wanted to do more to save lives. They have been talking to recovering patients, asking them to donate their plasma after they are cured of the disease.

“…What is exciting is that we have had 14 of our staff who have already donated plasma. This plasma is being used for a clinical trial. More and more patients are being educated about this, and we have had patients who have approached us, saying they would like to donate plasma for other patients,” Dr. Rindani added.

Nurse Clara Menezes was among those who got infected while attending to patients. She says the isolation period was difficult and she wasn’t aware about plasma donation during her ailment.

“We are healthcare staff. We must face this, whatever comes in the pandemic. We have promised to take care of our patients. I told them I will be ready to donate. Then later they did my blood test and all. When I came to know that I am eligible to donate plasma, I was really overjoyed,” she told NDTV.

15 more staff members have already been shortlisted for the trial.

Currently, private hospitals with DGCI approval are allowed to collect plasma. Plasma Therapy’s usage is regulated by the state government. Only those patients who are cleared by the government can be treated using the procedure.