"What Delhi did yesterday, America does today", said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday as his government claimed that the US adopted the model of convalescent plasma therapy for treatment of critically-ill coronavirus patients, taking a cue from the 'Delhi Model' of battling COVID-19.
The Delhi government was "the first to seek permission for trials" of plasma therapy in April and the first to open a plasma bank in India in July, a Delhi government statement said.
The Delhi government's statement comes after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave emergency authorisation for the use of blood plasma to treat coronavirus patients, saying the benefits of the treatment outweighed any potential risks.
"Taking a cue from the Delhi Model of battling coronavirus, the federal government of the United States of America has also adopted the model of convalescent plasma therapy for the treatment of critically COVID-19 patients in the US.
"The announcement was made today by US President Mr Donald Trump," the statement said.
In a tweet, Kejriwal said, "They used to say back in the day - what America does today, India would do tomorrow. Delhi has changed it. Now, what Delhi did yesterday, America does today. Congratulations Delhiites for achieving this for our country."
Back in April, the Delhi government was the first in the country to apply for permission from Centre to carry out trials of plasma therapy at its LNJP hospital, the statement said.
Following encouraging results of the initial trials of plasma therapy in critical COVID patients, Delhi government then requested the Centre to allow plasma therapy in the national capital, which was granted, it said.
The first plasma bank in the country was subsequently started in ILBS by the Delhi government on July 2, with an objective to provide free of cost convalescent plasma to patients. Subsequently, another plasma bank was launched at the LNJP Hospital in Delhi.
"This system has been a crucial element in the Delhi Model of COVID response and is being adopted by other states too," the statement said.
The establishment of the plasma bank by the Arvind Kejriwal-led government was done to put forward an "efficient system" for the recovery of patients and reduce the number of COVID-19 deaths to zero, it said.
During the launch of the plasma bank, Kejriwal had requested COVID-19 recovered patients to donate plasma in large numbers and be effective contributors in Delhi's fight against coronavirus, which is the "essence" of the Delhi model of COVID response, it said.
Plasma has an important role in the declining death rate of COVID-19 patients and until a vaccine comes, the convalescent plasma therapy should be looked at as an effective treatment for COVID-19, the statement said.
The convalescent plasma has been provided to patients of all blood groups, including the rare blood group type AB, B, and O. The plasma therapy has shown "encouraging results" in the "recovery" of critically-ill patients, it said.
Till August 11, a total of 921 COVID-19 recovered patients had donated plasma at the ILBS plasma bank, it said.
The donors include 86 healthcare workers, 209 entrepreneurs, eight media personnel, 28 police officials, 50 students, 32 government officials, and 508 others like servicemen, self-employed professionals, non-residents of Delhi among others.
Around 14 recovered patients have donated plasma more than once, added the statement.
(With PTI inputs)