Plasma therapy trials: An American journal has reported that the therapy has exhibited promising results while treating coronavirus patients.
Coronavirus in India: A promising plasma therapy treatment for COVID-19 that involves drawing antibody-rich blood from convalescent, or recovered coronavirus patients, will soon be put through a clinical trial phase in India, a report in the Hindustan Times said. An American journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), has reported that the therapy has exhibited promising results while treating coronavirus patients, the report adds.
Once the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) earmarks guidelines for the trials, it will seek the approval of the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for running the trials, and once this is received the process will begin. The report quoted Dr Manoj V Murhekar, director, National Institute of Epidemiology, Chennai, as saying that the draft for the trials would be ready in the next few days and it would then have to undergo clinical trial phase as it is a new drug. For this ICMR has to seek the approval of DCGI, he added.
Dr Murhekar opined that these trials have yielded favourable results among limited patients who have been put on ventilator support. He added that though this was not a treatment for all, random patients would be selected and trials would be expedited as the pandemic stage warrants such action.
A patient who has recovered from COVID-19 carries anti-bodies that can neutralise coronavirus, and the plasma from the blood of such persons is transfused into COVID-19 patients to fortify their immune system against the disease.
Meanwhile, the death toll due to the novel coronavirus outbreak in India rose sharply to 199 on Friday, data released by the Health Ministry showed. The total number of COVID-19 cases jumped to 6,412 with the number of active cases stood at 5,709. The MoHFW states that as many as 503 people have been cured and discharged so far and one patient has migrated. Since Thursday evening, the country has recorded at least 30 new deaths, the ministry said.