- ICMR indicates Centre’s inclination towards removing Plasma therapy from clinical management protocol
- AAP health minister Jain mentioned the life-saving potential of the therapy
- CM Kejriwal had inaugurated plasma banks at ILBS institute and Covid-dedicated LNJP hospital in July
THD NewsDesk, New Delhi: Considering the Centre’s decision to sack Plasma therapy from the national guidelines soon, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain contended for the treatment to remain a part of the clinical management protocol. On October 20, ICMR notified the Union government’s wish to reconsider the plasma therapy deemed potent for treating Covid patients.
The ICMR Director General Balaram Bhargava said in a press conference,
“We have had discussions in the national task force, and we are in discussion with the joint monitoring group that this (convalescent plasma therapy) may be deleted from the national guidelines. The discussion is ongoing, and more or less, we are reaching towards that.”
Quoting from the state government’s statistics, the Delhi health minister responded that more than 2,000 COVID-19 patients have benefitted from the treatment in question so far. Jain, who had contracted Covid himself in June, vouched for plasma therapy that had “saved his life.” Citing the case of his quick recovery post the administering of convalescent plasma, the AAP minister had also encouraged other recovered patients to donate their plasma.
On being asked his take on the Centre’s decision to reconsider the treatment, Jain said,
“We have been doing it (plasma therapy) trials after getting due permission. The ICMR-AIIMS study has not shown many breakthroughs. But people are getting benefitted from it here, and over 2,000 have benefitted by receiving plasma from the dedicated bank only. Even America has acknowledged its benefit. And, research is going on it world over. In a way, Delhi is a pioneer in it, and plasma therapy benefits have been seen. You should go and ask family members of those patients who were administered plasma therapy.”
The study contested by Jain was conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on 464 patients in 39 hospitals spread across 14 states. The randomized controlled trial results that suggested the inefficiency of plasma therapy in bringing down the Covid mortality rate or preventing progress were questioned due to the study’s limited scope. Though currently, COVID-19 patients in the moderate stage of the illness are being administered with off-the label convalescent plasma allowed, the ICMR study had raised crucial questions on its effectiveness.
Earlier in July, Delhi CM Kejriwal had inaugurated two plasma banks situated within the state-run Institute of Liver and Biliary Science (ILBS) and the Covid-dedicated LNJP Hospital. Appreciating the Delhi government’s move, Jain iterated that several Covid patients had benefitted from Delhi’s hospitals’ plasma banks.
As of October 20, the positivity rate in Delhi stood at 6.32%, while the fatality rate being 1.13%, according to the Delhi Health Minister.