Pakistan: COVID-19 patient recovers with plasma therapy

Pakistani doctors on Saturday claimed a successful clinical trial of passive immuinization after a coronavirus patient recovered through plasma therapy.

“Alhamdolillah, (by the grace ofg God), the first coronavirus patient treated through passive immuinization has recovered, and discharged from the hospital,” Dr Tahir Shamsi , head of the National Institute of Blood Diseases, told Anadolu Agency.

He, however, refused to reveal the details of the patient, and the hospital where he was treated.

Currently, he added, several COVID-19 patients were undergoing the plasma therapy as the authorities had set a target of 350 patients to undergo the clinical trial.

Eight approved clinical trial facilities for convalescent plasma across Pakistan, have already begun the process of collecting the plasma of patients recovered from the coronavirus.

“Let me make it very clear that it’s a successful clinical trial only. We cannot declare it an approved treatment for the novel virus at this stage,” said Shamsi , who heads the team of hematologists that has been assigned for the clinical trials.

“We still have to wait to say something definitive in this regard after more and more successful clinical trials,” he maintained.

Passive immunization is not a new medical treatment and has been done for the last 125 years.

According to Shamsi, the therapy was used to cure patients of diseases like SARS, Ebola and influenza in the recent past.

At present, he went on to say, the method was being used at 1,500 hospitals in some 80 countries to cure the coronavirus patients.

Pakistan is the worst-hit country in the region from the virus, with the total number of cases reaching 28,736 with 636 deaths.

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