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Congress Asks Government To Scale Up Plasma Therapy

TPCC Treasurer Gudur Narayana Reddy, who has just recovered from Covid-19, said plasma therapy was helping many critical patients recover from the coronavirus.
Hyderabad | 25th June 2020
Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Treasurer Gudur Narayana Reddy on Thursday said that the Central and the Telangana governments were going too slow on using plasma therapy to treat Covid patients.

Reddy, who has just recovered from Covid-19, said that the trials of plasma therapy conducted last month were reportedly successful with many critical patients recovering from the disease.

He said that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had approved 38 institutions for participation in a randomised controlled study to assess the safety and efficacy of convalescent plasma to limit complications associated with Covid-19. He said the ESIC and the Gandhi Medical College were among the institutions which had ICMR approval to conduct plasma therapy trials.

The Congress leader said that in the absence of a vaccine or a medicine to treat Covid-19, the results of plasma therapy, so far, made it a good bet. He pointed out that a critically ill Covid-19 patient from Hyderabad had fully recovered after receiving the convalescent plasma therapy approved by the ICMR. Trails were started on May 11 and the patient had recovered in 10 days. Therefore, the authorities should focus on increasing the scale of plasma therapy, he said.

In medical terms, in plasma therapy, the plasma of a person who has recovered from Covid-19 is drawn and transferred to patients who have freshly contracted the disease, as the plasma has sufficient antibodies to fight the disease. However, Reddy said that the authorities were not finding enough plasma donors. People who have recovered from Covid-19 carried the highest anti-bodies to attack the novel coronavirus after 2-3 weeks of testing negative, and therefore the authorities should constitute a team of expert counsellors to convince such recovered patients to donate their plasma, he said.

Two units of plasma are required for each patient, and therefore two donors are needed to treat one critically ill-patient.

Since he himself had just recovered from Covid-19, Narayana announced that he was ready to donate plasma if he fulfilled the eligibility criteria set by the ICMR and other authorities.

"I've recovered from the coronavirus and it will be an honour for me to save the life of someone who is suffering from the same infection," he said.

Reddy also urged the Central government to provide the required assistance to the Telangana government in handling the coronavirus situation.

"Instead of targeting the Telangana government's failures for political gains, the Central government should take measures to plug the loopholes so as to save the lives of the common people. This is not the time to indulge in cheap politics and blame games. The Telangana government should have clarity on what it seeks from the Centre, and the union government should be responsive and caring. One should not wait for the situation to deteriorate so as to blame someone for it in future," he said.
filed in:  Telangana, Coronavirus, Diseases, Health, Health Care, Epidemics, Gudur Narayana Reddy, Telangana Congress
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