ICMR drops plasma therapy as coronavirus treatment

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Plasma Therapy (Image: Pixabay)
Plasma Therapy (Image: Pixabay)

New Delhi : Convalescent plasma therapy, used for the treatment of moderate coronavirus patients, has been dropped from the Centre's list of COVID-19 treatments. The decision has been taken after clinical research found it ineffective in reducing the viral progression.

In last week's meeting, all members of special task force were in favour of removing plasma therapy from the treatment, news agency PTI reported.

The treatment was recommended in earlier guidelines on patients who are coronavirus positive and have shown symptoms in last 7 days.

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.

Plasma donation demand rose during the second wave of coronavirus cases when most people relied on it to treat their patient. Several politicians, actors and famous figures were seen helping people with plasma.

Last month, Centre had questioned the rampant use of the antiviral drug, Remdesivir, and said it was not a life-saving medicine.

The task force last week claimed that misuse of steroids has led to decrease in natural immunity of human 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.