Leaving religious differences aside, two Delhi men turned plasma donors after recovering from Covid-19. Both Anuj Sharma and Tabrez Khan show that in the hour of need, India stands united.
After weeks of attempts to communalise the Covid-19 pandemic in India and divide people along religious lines, two plasma donors are now proving that the fight against coronavirus can only be fought together.
With states across the country experimenting with plasma therapy as a viable treatment approach against Covid-19, India Today TV spoke to two plasma donors who are joining efforts to save their fellow countrymen.
Doctors have urged recovered Covid-19 patients to donate their plasma so it can be used for trials on more incoming cases. Plasma therapy is not seen as a cure but as a stop-gap measure by doctors to help patients recover.
‘Not Hindu or Muslim. My blood will help an Indian recover’
Tabrez Khan, resident of Jahangirpuri became Delhi’s first plasma donor after he recovered from Covid-19.
He had heard appeals by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and went to the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences on his own to contribute his plasma.
“I am so happy that after successfully donating plasma once, I am now ready to donate plasma for a second time also. On learning that I can donate plasma, my wife and my friend Shahid went to ILBS donate blood plasma. But my wife and Shahid were declared unfit for donation and I donated. The doctor said that five coronavirus patients will benefit from my donation.”
Tabrez’s sister, who also tested positive, had come from Saudi Arabia, and he and their mother got infected on March 18. After having tested negative on April 5, Khan was discharged and later his sister also recovered.
“I do not know if my plasma will be given to a Hindu or Muslim. But I am aware it will help an Indian recover. That is real patriotism,” he told India Today TV.
Tabrez Khan also said, “I can say that I can offer all parts of my body, if required, to test any vaccines being developed. The beauty of India is that people following all religions live together. And the spread of infection should not be linked to a particular community. There have been all kinds of rumours doing the rounds to flare up communal tension; we should ignore these. Those who are attacking policemen or doctors are criminals.”
“Rather than attaching them to a community, punish them hard as criminals. I just feel bad when there is an added pressure on a single community to prove their love towards the country each and every time,” he added.
Gift to wife
Speaking about his experience of donating plasma, Anuj Sharma said, “Only a needle prick was done to take plasma, it hurts for few seconds. But I felt no weakness and was sitting normally the next day with the same appetite and lifestyle as before. Due to coronavirus, so many people are presently suffering. I am happy to contribute to ongoing research that may help more patients. People need not fear plasma donation.”
Anuj Sharma offered to donate plasma on the day of his wedding anniversary on the suggestion of his wife as a means to perform a good deed for society. He had earlier tested positive for Covid-19 and recovered successfully.
“Our Indian culture is about helping each other. It is a centuries-old tradition. I followed the ethos of social compassion,” said Sharma.