The Department of Health in Central Visayas warned the hospitals against COVID-19 survivors who are selling their blood plasma for as high as P80,000.
According to DOH Central Visayas spokesperson Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, they received reports that some COVID-19 survivors are selling their blood plasma to infected patients in Cebu City, Ian Cruz reported on “24 Oras” Thursday.
“We have been getting reports that there are donors, especially in areas where the COVID cases are very high, and they have recovered are being approached by private citizens who will be needing their convalescent plasma,” Loreche said.
The official added a bag of blood plasma was reportedly being sold at P20,000 up to P80,000.
“Noong una, we heard it’s P20,000 per donor. Itong pinaka-latest na narinig natin is P80,000 already so pataas na nang pataas, and this is contrary to what the government’s project and program is which is voluntary blood donation,” Loreche said.
DOH Central Visayas are monitoring barangays with individuals allegedly selling blood plasma, including Sitio Sapatero in Barangay Luz, which has 147 recovered patients.
According to “Dolly,” a Cebu City resident who needed blood plasma for her sister-in-law due to the virus, a survivor from Barangay Luz offered her a bag of blood plasma for P20,000.
“Tinawagan niya, hiningian siya ng P20,000 tapos itinawag niya sa akin itong number na nanghingi sa kaniya ng P20,000. Ang sabi sa sister-in-law ko tiga Barangay Luz kaya tinawagan ko. Nahanap ko siya, kinausap ko siya, nagmakaawa ako sa kaniya na ano lang tapos matagal pa bago siya pumayag. Pero ‘di siya ‘yong nagdikta noong P20,000, ‘yong kaibigan lang niya,” she said.
Dolly said she was able to haggle and lower the amount to P5,000. However, the transaction did not continue since the patient got better.
Barangay Luz health worker Arlene Monsato, meanwhile, denied the allegations.
“Donation lang ‘yon at tsaka pang konswelo lang pero walang ganoon, P50,000, P80,000, wala,” Monsato said.
Selling blood plasma or other organs to a patient is illegal, the DOH warned.
They also instructed hospitals not to process the plasma transfusion of those who illegally transacted with COVID-19 survivors.
“Any form of sale of body parts or even mga blood products is really a big no no and we are actually looking into ano ‘yong mga violations na puwedeng i-file natin against the donor who is selling their blood and blood products and against individuals who are recruiting them for the use of their own patients or for selling again to another person,” Loreche said.