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Tablighis donate plasma, urge others to be donors as they look to put Covid controversy behind

Plasma therapy, which requires plasma from the blood of people who have recovered from Covid-19, has emerged as a promising treatment for the disease.

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New Delhi: When Farooq Basha, a 42-year-old Tablighi Jamaat member staying in Delhi’s Sultanpuri quarantine facility heard that donating his plasma could help save lives of coronavirus infected, he knew he was going to volunteer.

Basha, who was among the 2,500 who participated in the Jamaat’s Nizamuddin congregation last month, tested positive for Covid-19 on 30 March and was subsequently treated at Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital.

After a week-long treatment, Basha tested negative first on 8 April and then again on 18 April.

“When Maulana Saad issued an appeal saying everyone who tested negative should donate their plasma, I knew this was a way to show my gratitude to God as well as to all the doctors who helped treat me,” Basha told ThePrint.

Maulana Saad, the cleric who led the Jamaat’s congregation and was later booked for culpable homicide, issued a letter last week appealing to all recovered Jamaat members to donate their plasma.

On Sunday, the same day Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal made a similar appeal, Basha donated his plasma after ending his Ramzan fast for the day. “If I can be a medium to help others who are suffering, just like I was, nothing will make me happier. There can be no greater act of patriotism,” he said.


Also read: How Tablighi Jamaat was born from Mewat’s ‘drinking Muslims who couldn’t even read namaz’


Pledge for plasma

The plasma therapy involves the transfusion of plasma from a recovered coronavirus patient to a critical patient. The theory is that the blood of a recovered patient is rich in antibodies which can boost the body’s immunity response to the virus.

A total of 350 Tablighi Jamaat members who recovered from the coronavirus infection have taken a pledge to donate their plasma to help critical Covid-19 patients in Delhi hospitals.

Sources in the Delhi health department told the ThePrint that 60 of these 350 have donated their plasma, after they tested negative twice.

“There is a process as not every member who comes forward can donate plasma even if they wish to,” said a health department official requesting anonymity.

“At first, several Tablighi Jamaat members came forward expressing their willingness to donate plasma, post which we collected their samples to ensure the reports are negative. Only after that we spoke to them about donation of plasma,” added the official.

Of the 2,293 people who attended the Nizamuddin Markaz, 1,080 tested positive in Delhi and were put in quarantine. Those who have recovered are being urged to donate plasma.

Dr S.K. Sarin, director, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) and chief of the panel constituted to tackle Covid-19 in the national capital, has urged people to donate plasma as an act of “deshbhakti” (patriotism).


Also read: Delhi’s Nizamuddin — a bustling blend of history and spirituality, until Covid-19 struck


Who is a good donor?

In order to be a donor, one must be healthy, said Dr Sarin in a video briefing with Kejriwal. The potential donor must have a respiratory rate higher than 30, must have less than 90 per cent oxygen saturation, a haemoglobin count of at least 12 and no history of cardiovascular issues or diabetes.

“The process didn’t last longer than two hours. The doctors were extremely friendly and kind,” said Tabrez Khan, who donated his plasma at ILBS on 20 April.

A 36-year-old Delhi resident, Khan had contracted the coronavirus from his sister who returned from Saudi Arabia in March. Khan was an organiser of the Jahangirpuri protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act. He was treated at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital (LNJP) hospital after testing positive, and was given a clean bill of health on 5 April.

“At this point, when so many of my fellow countrymen are suffering, I knew this had to be done,” he told ThePrint.


Also read: Plasma therapy on Delhi Covid-19 patients yields positive results, say Kejriwal & top doctor


Plasma has no religion

In a video press conference Sunday, Kejriwal said, “It is possible that a Muslim’s plasma can save life of a Hindu patient or the plasma of a Hindu may save the life of a Muslim person. God did not discriminate between humans. Why have we created a wall between us? Coronavirus affects all — be it Hindu or Muslim.”

His comments come weeks after the Delhi Minority Commission wrote to the government to discontinue categorising the Tablighi cases separately, calling it a “thoughtless classification”. Following this, the cases were categorised under “special ops”, and then eventually dropped on 18 April.

“We have been subjected to a lot of bad press, communalisation. We have been demonised. But with more Tablighis coming forward to donate their plasma, hopefully that will end,” said Anas Syed, another plasma donor.


Also read: ICMR allows clinical trials of plasma therapy. What this means for fight against Covid-19


 

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8 COMMENTS

  1. In your article, why not also acknowledge the 10,000s of people of other faiths who donated blood?
    Donating blood is a good gesture, but a simple statement from the Tablighi Jamaat just to say ‘sorry’ will go a very long way towards improving their much damaged image.
    Else, these model citizens (?) will only be remembered for spitting on doctors, sexually abusing nurses, harassing female doctors and defying Govt guidelines during a time of crisis.

  2. Very good Reporting. Humans are humans just like Men will be Men. Hope TV channels come to senses and spread these messages of Unity rather always shouting “Tablighi – Tablighi” to create frenzy.

    Anyway, freinds, Keep reporting sensibly.

  3. Fatima and Aneesha mam…..Its not that “”ONLY”” they have donated their plasmas, Ur just being partial towards them…..other non-Tablighi or non-muslims have also donated their plasma and u don’t bother to write about them pls don’t get into bias journalism and don’t become the opposite of Arnab Goswami…. Tablighi jamaat r not doing us any favour….. Lastly THAT’S THE LEAST THEY CAN DO FOR MAKING IT UP FOR THE MESS THAT THEY HAVE CREATED IN THE FIRST PLACE

  4. We must accept human error as inevitable (Na – Guzeer)
    Worry not & believe: Allah is One with no partner “Tawhid’” is the peace of mind & soul (Everything Good or Bad from Allah & not from any source). Muslim 1st bow for forgiveness (Toba) to Allah and request (Dua) Insha- Allah may give comfortable way-out. Muslim must realize if Muslim deviate from right path Allah punished by putting Cruel Hukumran on them, pray for them for betterment (Hidayat).

  5. Has the head of Tablig e jamaat been arrested. If not who is helping him evade POLICE. Don’t forget pakistani HINDUS are being denied rations during covid19 pandemic . If blood plasma is the same what is it that differentiates majority of pakistan versus majority in INDIA.

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