"No Evidence To Support Plasma Therapy As COVID-19 Treatment": Government

The plasma therapy is still in an experimental stage and the Indian Council of Medical Research is conducting a national study on it, the health ministry said.

Plasma therapy can even be life threatening, the health ministry said. (File)

Highlights

  • Delhi reported India's first plasma therapy success story last week
  • But Centre says plasma therapy for COVID is in experimental stage
  • It can be life threatening if not carefully done, health ministry says
New Delhi:

Plasma therapy for coronavirus is still in an experimental stage and can even prove "life threatening" for a patient, the government said today amid a surge of hope brought in by the first successful test in Delhi.

There is "no concrete evidence to support plasma therapy as coronavirus treatment," senior health ministry official Lav Agarwal said today during the ministry's daily briefing. "The therapy is still in an experimental stage and the Indian Council of Medical Research is conducting a national study on it. It can even be life threatening if not carefully done," he added.

"The therapy is still in an experimental stage and the Indian Council of Medical Research is conducting a national study on it. It can even be life threatening," he added.

Delhi had reported the country's first plasma therapy success story last week, the patient was a 49-year-old man who got treatment at a private hospital.

The positive result triggered a rush to donate plasma and Mumbai today started its plasma therapy trial.

The Indian Council of Medical Research – the nodal body for the fight against coronavirus in the country -- has called for clinical trials across the country to assess plasma treatment, which is just one of the methods being tested to control the virus which is completely new to humans.

Earlier, plasma therapy has brought encouraging results in case of SARS, Ebola, and the H1N1 virus.  

But ICMR has made it clear that even for the purposes of trial, it can be used only on critical patients who are on ventilator support.

Plasma Therapy involves transfusion of plasma from a convalescent coronavirus patient to a critical patient. The blood of a convalescent patient is rich in antibodies that are expected to help the critical patient recover.

Doctors have said one donor can donate 400ml of plasma, which can save two lives.