Kolkata set up the country's second plasma bank to treat Covid-19 patients as West Bengal battles surging cases of the contagion.
The total number of cases in the state is currently nearing the 30,000-mark and the death toll stands at 779, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
The plasma bank, the first of its kind in West Bengal, has been set up at the state-owned Kolkata Medical College and Hospital (KMCH), Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told the media on Monday.
Around 12 people, who recovered from the disease, have donated their plasma to help in the treatment of coronavirus-infected people. Among the first donors were doctors, policemen and a student.
The country's first plasma bank was set up in Delhi a few days ago as the Indian capital remained the worst-hit metropolitan city with a total of 1.01 lakh cases and 3,115 fatalities so far.
"The West Bengal health department has built a plasma bank at the Kolkata Medical College and Hospital's Immunohematology department for Covid-19 treatment," Mamata said.
Even though plasma therapy is yet to be officially approved by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) as a method of treatment, some Indian states are opting for it to reduce the fatality rate.
Plasma therapy involves taking antibodies from the blood of a person who has recovered from Covid-19 and injecting those into a coronavirus-infected patient to help the immune system fight the infection.
The death toll due to Covid-19 in West Bengal mounted to 779 on Monday with the highest one-day spike of 22 fatalities, the state health department said.
As many as 861 people have tested positive for the virus in a span of 24 hours from Sunday to Monday, taking the infection tally in the state to 22,987, the department said in its bulletin.
A majority of the Covid-19 cases are in Kolkata and neighbouring districts of Howrah and North 24 Parganas.