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Lockdown 2.0: US, China start plasma therapy to beat COVID-19; Will India go for it!

Lockdown 2.0, Plasma Therapy

New Delhi: As Lockdown 2.0 is going to begin, several studies have already started in different parts of the world to evaluate the effectiveness of convalescent plasma therapy in treating patients with COVID-19.

As of now, there is no proven treatment available for the coronavirus. But that doesn’t stop researchers from burning the midnight oil to find one. The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) is one of them and has recently given its go-ahead for conducting clinical trials of plasma treatment. The researchers hope that the therapy can cure critically ill patients.

The idea behind this therapy is that immunity can be transferred from a healthy person to a sick person using convalescent plasma.

Lockdown 2.0: What is Plasma Therapy

Convalescent plasma refers to the plasma of patients recovered with COVID-19.

Then, in this therapy, blood is drawn from a person who has recovered from the disease and the serum is separated and analyzed for virus-neutralizing antibodies.

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When attacked by a pathogen, our immune system produces antibodies, and in this therapy, these antibodies from recovered patients are used to treat other sick people.

According to Neha Gupta, Infectious Disease Consultant at Fortis Memorial Research Institute in Gurugram, depending on the severity type of COVID 19 infection, immunity develops.

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Differences in mild and severe cases.

Immunity develops early in asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic people, while it develops later in severely ill and severely ill patients with COVID.

Kerala becomes the first state to use plasma treatment

Initially, the lead agency for biomedical research formulated a protocol for the therapy, prepared by doctors and scientists in Kerala. It became the first state to use plasma treatment in patients with coronavirus. It was once the most affected state, and it now ranks fifth with 357 infections, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

According to the guidelines, the donors will be those patients who recovered, without signs of infection for 2-3 weeks.

According to Manoj Murhekar, director of the Indian Institute of Epidemiology, the treatment will not be used in patients with mild symptoms. “This will be for those who are in ventilators and in clinical trial mode, before being recommended for all patients,” he said.

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For starters, Kerala focuses on collecting plasma samples from recovered patients. “The current effort is not to transfuse the plasma into patients, but to begin the process of extracting and storing plasma from donors to keep it ready when the time comes,” the expert committee member said.

The state has already begun advising recovered patients for possible donations.

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