COVID-19 treatment: Yogi Adityanath asks medical authorities to examine plasma therapy

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April 21, 2020 7:26 PM

The ICMR has recently allowed states to start clinical trials of the plasma therapy for COVID-19. Nearly 100 institutes have shown interest to study how safe and efficient is the plasma therapy in treating COVID-19 patinets.

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday asked the state’s medical authorities to promote plasma therapy for the treatment of COVID-19 patients after examining its efficacy. The chief minister, while chairing a high-level meeting of officials to take stock’s of the UP anti-COVID fight, also stressed upon the need for thorough testing of people living in and around the areas declared hotspots, said Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi. He said the chief minister also appealed to the people, visiting hospitals for emergency treatment, to go to the only to the hospitals approved by the Medical and Health Department.

Awasthi said the chief minister has pointed out that several news items on positive results of plasma therapy in the treatment of COVID-19 patients have appeared in media recently. “In view of this, the efficacy of the new treatment protocol should be examined and promoted in the state, said Adityanath, while chairing the meeting in which, he also instructed officials to ensure availability of oxygen for the COVID-19 patients.

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recently allowed states to start clinical trials of the plasma therapy for COVID-19. Nearly 100 institutes have shown interest to study how safe and efficient is the plasma therapy in treating COVID-19 patinets. Several states like Kerala, Gujarat and Punjab have already started to using plasma therapy for the corona-infected patients. Convalescent Plasma Therapy is an experimental procedure for COVID-19 patients.

In this treatment, plasma from a cured COVID-19 patient is transfused to a critically ill coronavirus patient. The idea behind this therapy is that immunity can be transferred from a healthy person to a sick patient using convalescent plasma. This therapy uses antibodies from the blood of a cured coronavirus patient to treat another critical patient.

The recovered COVID-19 patient’s blood develops antibodies to battle against COVID-19. Once the blood of the first patient is infused to the second patient, those antibodies will start fighting against the coronavirus in the second person. The process for donating plasma is similar to donating blood and takes about an hour. Several countries around the world including United Kingdom and United States have also started plasma therapy trials.

While the meeting, the chief minister also issued directions to halt inter-district and inter-state transportation, and ensure that ration is available to one and all, said Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awasthi. Talking about the need to visitonly approved hospitals for emergency treatment, Awasthi said, “If anyone falls ill, he/she should go to the hospitals, only approved by the medical and health department, and not to any other place. Do not go to non-approved hospital for emergency. Going to the emergency units of non-approved hospitals will also pose a danger to the lives of other patients. Emergency services have been allowed in only those hospitals, where there are sufficient equipment and trained staff,” he said. He said the chief minister has also directed that people in areas which have been declared COVID-19 hotspots should be thoroughly tested, and so should be the people living in the vicinity of hotspots. “Pool testing can also be done in areas, where it is needed. Special arrangements should be made for testing in Kanpur, were the burden of testing is high,” he said.

CM Adityanath also laid stress on the need for the people, put in quarantine, to follow the social distancing norms, said Awasthi. Referring to COVID-19 cases in Rae Bareli, Awasthi said, “People placed under quarantine in Rae Bareli had first tested negative, while in the second test, they were tested positive for COVID-19.”

Seeking to promote the use of Aarogya Setu app, Awasthi said the app keeps one aware of one’s surrounding and the possible COVID threat. Aarogya Setu app has been downloaded by nearly one crore people in the state. This is a big achievement. The app generates alert, and almost 200 alerts have already come. This will be used by the health department and concern district magistrates,” he said. Sanitisation of shelter home and community kitchens too should be done regularly, and medical tests of those working here should also be done. Adherence to the home quarantine by students, who have returned to their home in the state from Kota, should be informed on the ‘1076’ Mukhyamantri helpline, a statement issued by the UP Government said.

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