LAHORE - The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday sought a detailed report from Blood Transfusion Authority till July 8 on a petition against sale of plasma of recovered COVID-19 patients.

LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan passed the orders while hearing the petition filed by Advocate Arshad Virk.

At the start of proceedings, Secretary Specialized Healthcare department Nabeel Awan, Punjab Healthcare Commission chief executive and Blood Transfusion Authority officials appeared.

The Secretary admitted that Blood Transfusion Authority was not fully functional in the province, in response to a court query.

At this, the Chief Justice criticised the performance of the authority and observed that problems regarding blood transfusion emerged every day.

Plasma of recovered COVID-19 patients was being sold for its use in treatment of patients and the same was being sold at the rate of Rs 500,000 to 600,000, he added.

He questioned what steps had been taken to provide relief to COVID-19 patients by the government in this situation.

To which, the Secretary replied that the government was providing best treatment facilities to COVID-19 patients.

However, the Chief Justice questioned what steps had been taken to check sale of plasma.

The Secretary assured the court that a complete report would be submitted in this regard on the next date of hearing.

The blood transfusion authority official told the court that 140 licences had been issued for transfusion.

The Healthcare Commission official told the court about action taken against private hospitals for overcharging.

However, the Chief Justice asked the official to submit a complete report by the next date of hearing.

Subsequently, the court adjourned further hearing till July 8 and summoned Home Secretary Punjab to know the steps taken for implementation of blood transfusion laws.

The petitioner had stated that plasma of recovered coronavirus patients was being sold in violation of the relevant laws that prohibit the sale of blood. The sale of plasma was tantamount to a mockery of the laws, he argued.  The petitioner pleaded with the court to impose a ban on the sale of plasma.