Despite having the infrastructure in place, the Goa government is yet to begin plasma therapy for COVID-19 patients, as there are some formalities left to be completed, a senior official has said.

At least 15 to 20 recovered COVID-19 patients have already donated their plasma, state health secretary Neela Mohanan told reporters on Friday.

However, the state government is yet to start plasma therapy, as there are a few more procedures left to be completed, she said.

Convalescent plasma therapy is an experimental procedure where plasma from the blood of a recovered COVID-19 patient is transfused to a critically ill coronavirus patient.

State health Minister Vishwajit Rane had set a deadline of last week to begin plasma therapy in the state and the Goa Medical College and Hospital had also procured apheresis machine needed for the procedure.

Meanwhile, the health secretary agreed that swab samples for testing are piling up every passing day.

According to the official data on Friday, over 5,000 samples were yet to be tested.

As COVID-19 cases are on a rise and more containment zones are being marked, the number of samples drawn has also increased, Mohanan said.

“We are taking all necessary measures to ensure that government-run labs are operating 24×7. The health department is fully on the job,” she said.

Despite the rise in cases, there was no need for additional COVID-19 hospitals besides the existing one in Margao, she said, adding that the occupancy at ESI Hospital is below 50 per cent.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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