State approves plasma therapy for mild and moderate Covid casesUpdated: Jun 30, 2020 00:41 IST
The Maharashtra government on Monday permitted the use of convalescent plasma therapy in all dedicated Covid hospitals in the state as treatment for Covid-19 in an emergency situation. The state also launched Project Platina, in which 500 critically-ill patients of Covid-19, at 21 medical colleges across Maharashtra, will be given convalescent plasma therapy as a part of clinical trial.
The government resolution issued by the medical education department on Monday says plasma therapy may now be considered for patients whose oxygen requirement is progressively increasing despite use of steroids.
“With approval from union health ministry, Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), the state decided using convalescent plasma therapy as treatment in mild and moderate cases. With this, plasma therapy can be used as a treatment in emergency at all government, private and charitable hospitals declared as dedicated for Covid treatment but they have to follow protocol of emergency authorisation,” said Dr Sanjay Mukherjee, secretary state medical education department.
On Monday, Maharashtra chief minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray also launched Project Platina. With 500 critically-ill Covid-19 patients, the state claimed Project Platina is the world’s largest trial-cum-treatment project related to plasma therapy for Covid-19. Thackeray also inaugurated Covid-19 plasma banks at 13 of the 21 centres participating in Project Platina, for which ₹16.85 crore has been approved from the CM Relief Fund.
HT had reported on June 11 that the state would implement a plasma therapy trial project.
These 500 patients will be given two doses of 200 ml of convalescent plasma, which has been taken from a recovered Covid-19 patient. “The state also intends to take this further and isolate monoclonal antibodies against Covid-19 from this plasma and study its structure,” Dr Mukherjee said. The treatment during this trial will be provided free of cost to all participating patients.
“Convalescent plasma therapy is coming up as one of the most important methods to treat severe Covid-19 patients in the absence of definite treatment drugs,” said Dr Mukherjee. “The trial will also help formulate definite treatment guidelines for the entire country and thus prove a milestone in the pandemic,” he added.
In convalescent plasma therapy, plasma, a blood component, is transfused from the recovered patient — whose blood has antibodies to fight Covid-19 — to one still afflicted by the infection. The therapy may also be used to immunise frontline workers, families of patients and other high-risk people.