The Delhi Plasma Bank clarified on Thursday that it does not charge any amount for providing plasma to the patients, after a document started doing the rounds on social media where it was mentioned that the bank would charge Rs 25,000 from private and corporate hospitals against the plasma provided to them.
The Delhi Plasma Bank is the first in the country to store and provide plasma on-demand to Covid-19 patients. The bank, inaugurated on Thursday, has been set up at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS).
On Thursday evening, a document started getting shared on Twitter and Facebook, which mentioned that the private and corporate hospitals would have to pay Rs 25,000 to receive plasma from the bank.
The document was drafted on the letterhead of the ILBS Hospital and was also uploaded on the website of the hospital. After the upload, it was downloaded and widely shared on Twitter and Facebook. However, it was taken down by the ILBS administration later, stating that it was a "clerical error".
Shantanu Dubey, in-charge of issuing plasma to the patients, told IANS that the document was an old and unapproved proposal.
"It was a proposal floated a few days ago to the management of the hospital. It did not get approval and was mistakenly uploaded on the hospital's website on Thursday. However, we have rectified it," he clarified.
Dubey also said that ILBS is providing plasma free of cost to all. "We are not charging for plasma from anyone. It's being offered on-demand free of cost," he added.
Dubey said the bank issued three sets of plasma on Thursday, all to corporate hospitals, without charging any amount. "We provided two B blood group plasma and one from the A blood group," he informed.
He also informed that six requests of plasma are lined up for Friday. He said the bank has received requests for plasma from across the country, but currently, it will only issue it to the patients in Delhi.
Meanwhile, the bank has directed all the hospitals to appoint nodal officers for making requests for plasma from the bank.
"A few hospitals have appointed nodal officers. The communication regarding issuance and donation will be made only to the nodal officers," said Rahul Borkar, a resident medical officer in the plasma bank.
The officials at the plasma bank also informed that they will provide travel allowances to the donors coming to the bank to donate their plasma. "We will reimburse up to Rs 1,500 of the travel cost borne by the donor," Borkar said.
To donate plasma, a donor needs to complete at least 28 days post the treatment of Covid-19. A donor can re-donate plasma after 14 days.