In the midst of the Covid-19 outbreak, there have been several attempts still going on to find the right treatment before this deadly wave takes more lives and there is nothing in control but grief in all our eyes of losing our loved ones. A couple of days ago, India lifted its export ban on hydroxychloroquine after pressures from several nations who are in desperate need of help. Moreover, hydroxychloroquine has not even passed the randomized control trials and it’s one of the few medications of hope in the mind of President Donald Trump along with many other world leaders. This betrays the amount of anxiety the world leaders have right now. There have been deaths in thousands and counting, and instead of a eulogy or a proper funeral, bodies are being piled up in the ditches like an inventory of goods in a warehouse.
Having said that, one of the most recent updates on the medical side is the discussion about convalescent plasma therapy, a therapy that was previously used during the SARS and MERS epidemics.
In Convalescent Plasma Therapy, plasma from a COVID-19 recovered patient is transfused into an infected one. The serum is separated and screened for virus-neutralizing antibodies. These antibodies present in the plasma of the recovered patient assist in killing the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the infected patient.
Recently, The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) gave its approval to SCTIMST, Kerala for carrying out convalescent plasma therapy for COVID-19 patients. This measure’s further exploration is based on a study by doctors in China.
The clinical preliminaries will require endorsements from the Drug Controller General of India, Ethics Committee and Clinical Trials Registry-India, the report cited RR Gangakhedkar, boss disease transmission specialist at ICMR, as saying.
“From January 23, 2020, to February 19, 2020, 10 severe COVID-19 patients (six males and four females) were enrolled and received CP transfusion. The median age was 52.5 years” a research article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, stated.
Speaking on this issue, Dr. Asha Kishore said that the transfusion department of Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology will have the research on this therapy conducted to further understand its potency.
Kerala has been acting fast in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. Its approach has been successfully flattening the curve of this virus and maintaining the low mortality as well as the highest recovery rate. Compared to other states, it moved on early on antibody testing to detect SARS-CoV2 virus.
The trials conducted on patients in China can be understood better in this article of The Journal of American Medical Association. This article states that the condition of those five patients improved after 1 week of treatment, even though there were no Randomized Control Trials for the same.