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Bucharest Mayor Firea says VIPs only benefit from COVID-19 infections' blood plasma treatment

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Firea

The General Mayor of Bucharest, Gabriela Firea, said on Thursday night for the private television Romania TV that at the moment only "VIPs" benefit from blood plasma for the treatment of COVID-19 infections, while "normal people, ordinary citizens do not benefit from, because they do not exist" and rejected the accusations against the project adopted by the General Council regarding the granting of incentives to plasma donors.

"Governments all over the world have programmes to stimulate blood plasma donation from people who already have the antibodies to this disease, after they have become infected and cured. (...) In exceptional situations, we must take exceptional measures. We have a law to reward blood donors. All we do is increase the amount. I asked the following question to the councillors, looking into the eyes of those who criticized this project, who appeared against the background of the Government's non-involvement: if they had a very close, dear, loved person, in the hospital, in intensive care and who would urgently need blood plasma transfusion, would they refuse because the donor received the meal vouchers from the Capital City Hall? At the moment only VIPs receive blood plasma, so normal people, ordinary citizens do not receive because they do not exist and it is not the fault of the physicians, it is not the fault of hospital managers, it is the fault of the Ministry of Public Health that it does not do so to stimulate this donation," Firea said.

She added that the project would save people, noting that humanitarian plasma can be donated and that donors do not have to benefit from these incentives, stressing that there are people who have paid for the analyses necessary for plasma donation themselves and it is normal for the Romanian state to provide these incentives.

The project "Donate plasma, save life", which provides for financial support of 4,800 lei (rd 1,000 euro) to each beneficiary, in the form of a voucher package, was adopted on Thursday by the General Council of the Capital, 33 -to- 5 and 7 abstentions.

The programme is addressed to a number of 500 beneficiaries with a permanent residence or residence visa in Bucharest, obtained at least 6 months before the application for joining the project. The project budget is 2.4 million lei and it will run during 2020, with the possibility of extension, on the basis of a regulation to be drawn up within 10 days of the approval of the programme.

The leader of the USR (Save Romania Union)'s municipal councillors, Ana Ciceala, said on Thursday that the project is "illegal" and "immoral".

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