Plasma therapy for COVID-19 patients in Coimbatore soon: Vijayabaskar

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The Department of Public Health is taking steps to establish a plasma bank in Coimbatore to treat COVID-19 patients, Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar told journalists here on Tuesday, after chairing a meeting at the Collectorate with Municipal Administration Minister S.P. Velumani.

After Mr. Velumani had placed a demand for the plasma bank, the Chief Minister ordered that it be established in Coimbatore. It would be the second such facility in the State, after the one in Chennai. The Government had also sanctioned ₹75 crore for an oxygenation line at the Government Medical College and ESI Hospital here.

Mr. Vijayabaskar also said that the Public Works Department had expedited the work to add 500 beds at the hospital to ensure that there was no shortage of beds to treat COVID-19 patients in Coimbatore.

In all, the district had earmarked 4,680 beds to treat COVID-19 patients. The number of active cases was around 750 and the bed strength was four times more, to meet any spike in cases.

Coimbatore district administration conducted the second highest number of tests next only to Chennai in the State and as of July 20, the number of tests stood at 1,00,069.

Asserting that there was no delay in testing samples in Coimbatore, he said the ESI Hospital and Coimbatore Medical College Hospital (CMCH) tested around 4,000 samples a day. And, there was no diversion of samples from Dindigul for testing.The Health Minister also inspected a linear accelerator, costing ₹25 crore, which was provided to the Regional Cancer Centre at the CMCH.

“So far, 21 [cancer] patients have been treated using this machine on a trial basis,” the Minister said. While treatment with the linear accelerator cost ₹2.5 lakh in private hospitals, it was being done free of cost at CMCH under the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme, he said.

Later, both the Ministers inspected the COVID-19 ward at the ESI Hospital.

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