The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in a recent note stated that plasma therapy may be deleted from the standard protocols to treat and manage covid-19 positive patients. However, Goa is expected to write to the ICMR showing the ‘excellent’ results it has managed to obtain after giving plasma treatment to covid-19 patients in the state.
In fact, the ICMR in a recent statement claimed that convalescent plasma therapy may be removed from the treatment lines followed across the country.
At the Goa Medical College, the dean and head of covid hospitals Dr. S M Bandekar was quoted as saying that in Goa, a combination of plasma therapy and Remdesivir proved promising while treating patients with covid-19, adding that they will convey the same to the ICMR.
“We will inform ICMR that our preliminary result of plasma therapy in combination with remdesivir in covid patients having diabetes has been very promising. We would like to continue with the treatment regimen,” he has said.
According to information available, over 450 patients in the state have been administered plasma therapy, and almost 90% of them have benefited from it.
The state health department had initially started a drive to encourage people to come out and donate their plasma as it can help save the lives of those who are mostly in a more severe condition. After getting a poor response at the start, the government introduced various other schemes, such as free medical treatment for a year, to enable more people to come forward to donate their plasma.
Recently, Health Minister Vishwajit Rane even announced that the state has purchased a second apheresis machine which facilitates the separation of plasma from the blood. GMC has maintained that the combination of plasma therapy and the drug remdesivir has proved helpful for many patients. It, however, is not effective for those who arrive very late to hospitals.
Despite the ICMR’s statements, states across the country are of the opinion to continue the same line of treatment. Besides Goa, it is learnt that Odisha too has decided to continue the same treatment for its patients. The state has said that its doctors and expert panels have been of the opinion that this treatment procedure must continue.
To understand how ICMR came to such a conclusion, it is important to note that the study ICMR did, failed to look for the presence of neutralizing antibodies before transfusing blood plasma of patients who recovered from Covid-19.
Goa and Odisha are, however, not the only states to oppose this move, as many more are expected to refuse this. Senior doctors from top institutes too have said that this study by ICMR is not helpful, and its findings cannot be implemented.
Meanwhile, Goa is expected to continue the same line of treatment given to its covid-19 positive patients.
Currently, Goa has witnessed a drop in active cases, with figures dropping below 3,000 after a very long time. There are 2991 active cases currently, while 564 deaths have been reported to date.