- Plasma therapy was widely used in hospitals for treating Covid patients
- Experimental procedure was found ineffective in reducing the progression
- The National Covid Task Force took the decision to drop it as a treatment
Convalescent plasma therapy, widely used in hospitals for treating moderate coronavirus patients, has been dropped from the centre's list of COVID-19 treatments. The national Covid task force took the decision as the experimental procedure was found to be ineffective in reducing the progression of the disease or fatalities.
At a meeting last week, all the members of the task force - which includes senior officials, scientists and top doctors - were in favour of removing plasma therapy from the treatment guidelines, news agency PTI reported.
The procedure had been part of the previous guidelines that said it could be used on moderate patients within seven days of the onset of symptoms.
Several scientists had written to Principal Scientific Advisor K Vijay Raghavan, warning against the "irrational and non-scientific use" of the procedure in the country.
"We are writing to you as concerned clinicians, public health professionals and scientists from India about the irrational and non-scientific use of convalescent plasma for COVID-19 in the country...This has stemmed from guidelines issued by government agencies, and we request your urgent intervention to address the issue which can prevent harassment of COVID-19 patients, their families, their clinicians and COVID-19 survivors," the letter read.
As the dangerous second wave of infections ravaged the country, thousands of patients and their families are writing on social media daily to request for plasma donations.
Several politicians, actors and other celebrities have been helping people arrange plasma for their patients.
The centre had last month questioned the rampant use of the antiviral drug, Remdesivir, and said it was not a life-saving medicine.
The task force last week said because of the misuse of steroids, which can diminish the natural immunity of the body, fungal and bacterial infections are causing deaths of Covid patients.
"Misuse of steroids is a major cause behind this infection (Black Fungus). Chances of fungal infection increase in the patients who are diabetic, Covid positive and those who are taking steroids. To prevent it, we should stop the misuse of steroids," AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria had said.
With inputs from PTI