G. Narayana, an icon of hope' for plasma
Deccan Chronicle | DC Correspondent
Reddy has been leading an effort for about a year now to help provide plasma from recovered patients to those undergoing treatment
Gudur Narayana Reddy. - By Arrangement
Hyderabad: Cometh the hour, rises a leader. The ever-increasing Covid-19 cases, particularly those requiring hospitalisation with severe symptoms, has driven up the demand and scale of requests for plasma donors.
Gudur Narayana Reddy, himself a Corona patient who fought the disease and recovered successfully, has been leading an effort for about a year now to help provide plasma from Covid-19 recovered patients to those undergoing treatment and need it.
He set up www.telanganaplasmadonors.com to encourage donors and connect them with Covid-19 patients. He has been seeing a lot of requests during the second Covid wave too.
January and February were months when there was not much of a demand but it has now picked up as the disease began spinning out of control, he said. "This may even erupt into a bigger crisis," Narayana Reddy said.
He said his group of volunteers are also getting requests from Visakhapatnam,Vijayawada, Guntur and Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh but in that state, there are no organised efforts.
"We are guiding individual volunteers coming forward to donate plasma and encouraging them to get in touch with the district collectors who could connect with hospitals," he added. Narayana Reddy said that any Covid-19 recovered person willing to donate plasma should do so within 90 days from the day he or she tested positive but only after full recovery.
Those without symptoms typically do not have enough antibodies but those with moderate or severe symptoms have more antibodies. He also said that the state government which promised a centralized plasma collection and distribution system, has not kept its word.
Back in Telangana, he said "we have been able to cater to a majority of requests in Hyderabad, from Karimnagar, and Warangal districts." He said when possible, the group has been also trying to help patients find doses of Remedesivir injections.
"I am not speaking here as a BJP leader but as a social worker. The government should not have been hiding the truth about Covid numbers. People have become careless because they think it is not much. Had the truth been told, people would have had an element of fear and taken more care of themselves and their families," he said.
Gudur is a busy man as his efforts have led to a viraling of his phone number on social media. His phone is constantly ringing or buzzing, with requests for plasma from patients’ family members or friends, and also encouragingly, from volunteers.
Across the country now, Gudur is constantly spending time, and money, to connect donors with patients and help.
"Gudur is the Sonu Sood for plasma seekers," messaged the son of a plasma recipient. "When systems fail or falter, society looks up to individuals. He has been the icon of hope."
Gudur smiles and moves to the next call, saying, "there is a long way before we emerge out of the Covid pandemic as a country. Till then, we have to stand for each other."
He is doing just that and people are grateful. "I am doing my little bit," he says modestly. "What I have done is little more than nothing compared to the frontline warriors, doctors, nurses, para-medics, and volunteers. And the scientists who have made the vaccines."