Hyderabad:The Hyderabad MP and AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi on 27 April wrote a letter to Telangana health minister Etala Rajender stating that 32 COVID-19 recovered patients from Hyderabad are happy to donate convalescent plasma.

“We are aware, the donation of convalescent plasma is critical to our collective fight against Coronavirus. In furtherance of the same, I am attaching hence with the names of 32 recovered patients who are willing to donate their plasma and contribute in helping patients who are currently affected by COVID-19,” the MP wrote in his letter to the health minister.

“I hope that this contribution from recovered patients will go a long way in government’s efforts to treat COVID-19 patients in the State,” Mr Owaisi added.


What is convalescent plasma therapy?

Convalescent plasma therapy is done after a cured COVID-19 patient donates their plasma to a critical COVID-19 patient. The cured patients will have antibodies developed against the virus in their plasma, which is termed as convalescent plasma. This method has earlier been tested on Ebola and other strains of Coronavirus like SARS in 2003 and MERS in 2012 with varying levels of efficacy.

Plasma therapy, which has reportedly shown promising results in China, South Korea and the United States of America, is a procedure adopted to produce COVID-19 antibodies in the body of a patient, by using the blood plasma of a cured COVID-19 patient. Following the constitution of a seven-member committee coordinating with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the Gandhi Hospital has witnessed more than 15 cured COVID patients who are ready to donate their plasma.

However, there are a lot of procedures involved to begin this treatment. Dr Rakesh Mishra, the director of Hyderabad’s Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), told NewsMeter, “Plasma transfer cannot be administered on a large scale. “About 200 ml of blood has to be taken from a recovered person for plasma transfer. This means one recovered patient can transfer plasma to only
one patient. Also, some people recover without the help of antibodies. Their blood also cannot be used. Hence, plasma transfer will be administered only to patients in critical conditions”, he said.

Dheeshma Puzhakkal

Dheeshma Puzhakkal is currently a Reporter with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University, she has interned with Greater Kashmir newspaper and NDTV. Dheeshma has also made short films and documentaries. Her documentary ‘Still I Rise’, which is based on sex-trafficking in Hyderabad’s Old City, has earned accolades in several film festivals, such as International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Kerala (IDSFFK). An avid foodie, she loves to travel and listen to stories that others tell. Photography is one of her all-time interests. She has extensively written on satellite-based journalism, health, consumer, and data stories besides covering anti-crime investigative agencies.

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