Covid-19: Congress asks TS Govt to scale up plasma therapy

Hyderabad, June 25: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Treasurer Gudur Narayana Reddy on Thursday said that the Central and Telangana Governments were going too slow on plasma therapy to treat Coronavirus patients.

Narayana 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 getting recovered from Coronavirus. He said that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved 38 institutions for participating 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 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 vaccine or medicine to treat Covid-19, the results of plasma therapy, so far, have been highly encouraging. Therefore, he said that the authorities should focus on increasing the scale of plasma therapy. In medical terms, in plasma therapy, the plasma of a person who has recovered from COVID-19, is drawn and transferred to people who have freshly contracted the disease as the same has sufficient antibodies to fight the disease. However, he said that the authorities were not finding enough plasma donors. People, who’ve recovered from Covid-19, carry the highest antibodies to attack the novel Coronavirus after two to three weeks of testing negative. Therefore, he said that the authorities should constitute a team of expert counsellors to convince recovered patients to donate their plasma.

Narayana Reddy pointed out that a critically ill Covid-19 patient from Hyderabad has fully recovered after receiving the convalescent plasma therapy approved by the ICMR. Trails were started on May 11 and the patient recovered in 10 days. Two units of plasma is required for each patient and therefore, two donors are needed to treat one critically ill-patient.

Since he has just recovered from Covid-19, Narayana Reddy announced that he was ready to donate plasma if he fulfills 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.

“As on June 24, a total of 4,361 people in Telangana have recovered from Covid-19. According to rough estimates, not more than 4-5% of 5,858 Active Cases fall into the category of critically ill. Therefore, if approved by the ICMR and other medical experts, all critically ill patients in Telangana can undergo plasma therapy as it will not be a difficult task for the government to mobilise 600 eligible donors for nearly 300 critically ill patients,” he said.

Further, Narayana Reddy urged the Central Government to provide required assistance to the Telangana Government in handling the Coronavirus situation. “Instead of targeting Telangana Government’s failures for political gains, the Central Government should take measures to plug the loopholes so as to save lives of common people. This is not the time to indulge in cheap politics and blame games. While the Telangana Govt should have clarity on what it seeks from the Centre, the Union Govt 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.

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