DOH warns vs COVID-19 money-making venture: P80,000 per bag of plasma from cured Cebu City villagers
CEBU CITY—The Department of Health (DOH) in Central Visayas has warned hospitals against processing plasma from patients who had recovered from COVID-19 and are making money out of it.
At an online press conference, Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, regional DOH spokesperson, said her office received reports that some people, who had recovered from COVID-19, are selling plasma to patients in Cebu City.
“The licensing division will actually look into it,” said Loreche.
“We have advised also the blood banks of the hospitals that they should not process these even for their own patients,” she said. “If we find out that they are doing this, their license may be revoked,” she said in Cebuano.
Reports of plasma sale, allegedly at the village of Luz, have been circulating on social media. A bag of blood plasma was reportedly being sold at P80,000 each.
Plasma is the clear, liquid component of blood that carries cells and proteins throughout the body.
“We really discourage that and we condemn it,” said Loreche.
“Blood plasma is supposed to be given voluntarily to those who need it and should not be sold,” she said.
“If we allow that and we purchase blood for our patients, what will happen to those who are in need and cannot afford it?,” Loreche added.
Plasma from recovered patients contains antibodies that could fight SARS Cov2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and may be transfused to severely-ill patients to help in their recovery.
The village of Luz is one of the areas in Cebu City with the highest number of infections last April. The city health department reported that hundreds of infected village residents had recovered.
Loreche said only the DOH has authority to process or grant authority to process plasma from donors who offer these for free.
“The plasma shall be made available for everyone—rich or poor,” she said.
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