Plasma Therapy Not a Proven COVID-19 Treatment: Govt

“Our recovery rate from COVID-19 is 23.3 per cent, this is a progressive increase,” says Union Ministry.

Updated28 Apr 2020, 01:22 PM IST
2 min read

On Tuesday, 28 April, the Union Health Ministry and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) addressed the media on the state of COVID-19 in India.

“Our recovery rate from COVID-19 is 23.3 per cent, this is a progressive increase,” said Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health.

The doubling rate of COVID-19 cases now stands at 10.2 days said the health ministry.

“ICMR has stated that there are no approved therapies for COVID-19, including plasma therapy. Plasma therapy is being experimented, however, there is no evidence that this can be used as a treatment. ICMR has launched a national level study. Till we don’t have robust scientific evidence, we can only use this for research or trial purposes. In fact, if it is not used with proper guidelines it can cause life-threatening complications.”
Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health

He adds, “The US’ FDA is looking at plasma therapy in an experimental sense as well.”

The ICMR made similar clarifications on Twitter when it said, “Given the serious uncertainties around #COVID19 convalescent plasma therapy, ICMR has initiated a multi-center clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of using this therapy in COVID19 patients in India. Despite the threat of COVID19 pandemic, there's a need to ensure the ethical integrity & establish the scientific basis of using #COVID19 convalescent plasma therapy in patients.”

Aggarwal also spoke about their new guidelines for home isolation for “very mild or presymptomatic patients.”

On responding to a question about the alarming rise in healthcare worker infections, Aggarwal added that “all healthcare professionals need to take proper guidelines and precautions.”

However, he did not address the crux of the problem - the lack of PPEs that are putting frontline workers - and eventually, the rest of us - in danger.

Aggarwal added that the cases of reinfection need more data before making any conclusions.

“There is no conclusive evidence for reinfection.”
Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health

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Published: 28 Apr 2020, 12:04 PM IST

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