Delhi to Continue Plasma Therapy for COVID-19 Patients Despi
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Covid-19 patients in the national capital will continue to be treated with blood plasma donated by survivors of the novel coronavirus, Delhi’s health minister Satyendar Jain said on 10 September, despite clinical trials not proving whether plasma therapy can help people fighting the infection.

“ICMR had its own study. As far as very serious cases are concerned, there are three stages in the ICU - 1, 2 and 3. We had made it clear that it will not help once a person reaches stage 3. However, in stage 1 and stage 2, there are many benefits,” he claimed.

The health minister added that ICMR is not saying that there is no benefit to plasma therapy, and instead what it is saying is that if a patient is put on a ventilator, perhaps the plasma therapy will not benefit.

However, before a patient reaches stage 3, it does benefit. The minister, who had himself undergone plasma therapy when he was Covid-19-positive, said that he had benefitted from the therapy.

But the ICMR study showed that 13.6 per cent of patients who received plasma therapy could not recover and died, while 14.6 per cent of those who did not receive plasma died. The study said 17 patients in each group progressed to have severe disease.

Plasma therapy, however, had minor benefits in reducing symptoms like shortness of breath and fatigue and it had no effect on other symptoms like fever and cough.

Several states like Delhi, Odisha, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are conducting plasma therapy to tackle the outbreak of coronavirus. In Delhi, it was widely promoted by the government.


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