41 diamond polishers of Unique Gems Company have come forward to donate their plasma to help COVID-19 patients in Surat. With this, the number of COVID-19 plasma donors in Surat is now the highest in the state.
Earlier, the city topped the list in both blood and organ donation.
Jayesh Monpara, one of the employees of Unique Gems company, said that he got a call from a relative asking for his plasma. Monpara had on June 30 tested positive for COVID-19 and was cured after a fortnight of isolation.
28 days later he donated his plasma. He got to know that plasma donors needed to undergo antibody test. He talked to Dr Ankita Shah of the plasma bank in SMIMER and told her that over 80 employees of his company, Unique Gems, have already had their antibody test done.
Dr Shah said they contacted the director of Unique Gems Dilip Kevadia. He said that of the 80 diamond polishers who were tested in his company, over 66 had developed antibodies for the disease.
Under the guidance of Kevadia, the workers agreed to donate their plasma. Initially, 41 polishers donated their plasma and 25 others will be donating it soon.
Partner in the company Darshan Saliya said that following the relaxations in May, they had begun operations again. Workers were tested with thermal guns, social distancing was maintained, masks were worn and sanitizers were provided. But still, six workers tested positive, he said.
As a result, the company was closed down for three weeks. Since the company began functioning from July 14, it began to collect the health data of workers who reported fever and other symptoms.
It also got them an antibody test at the company’s expenses. It was revealed that over 80 diamond polishers already had the antibodies in them. He said for the last one month, none of the workers has shown any symptoms of the disease.
Vikas Gohil, a 38-year-old plasma donor who successfully beat COVID-19 said that he was happy to help save the life of another patient.
What is an antibody test
The government has issued a guideline for plasma donation under which COVID-19 patients can donate their plasma 28 days after being cured. But they need to undergo an antibody test and only those who have developed IgG type antibodies can donate their plasma.
Dr Ankita Shah, head of plasma bank in SMIMER hospital said that antibody test allows in knowing the presence and level of IgG antibody in a person’s system. “Antibody is a type of protein that helps the body fight infection. Plasma rich in IgG antibodies can be used to help COVID-19 patients battle the disease,” said Dr Shah.
She said plasma donation is very safe as the body will soon make up for the lost plasma by developing new ones.