India Drops Plasma Therapy From COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines

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The Central Government on the 17th of May, decided to drop plasma therapy as a treatment for the Wuhan virus illness, also known as the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19.)

According to sources, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) dropped the use of convalescent plasma from the recommended treatment guidelines for COVID-19.

The National Task Force of the ICMR, along with experts from the Health Ministry updated the guidelines for the treatment of the patients infected with the Wuhan virus.

The decision was based on the trial by the ICMR on 11,588 patients. As a result of the trials, called the PLACID trials, the ICMR did not find any benefits of the plasma therapy.

Several other international trials had also found no benefit from plasma therapy. Instead, some experts have said the use of such plasma may have even played a role in facilitating new worrisome mutations to the virus. They cited the ICMR-PLACID trial was the world”s first randomised controlled trial on convalescent plasma in 39 public and private hospitals across India.

Initially, the ICMR approved the Plasma therapy for COVID-19 patients. It said, though plasma therapy is not a proven cure for the deadly COVID-19 infection, it reduces the risk of death and helps in the process of the cure.

A convalescent plasma therapy uses antibodies (a type of protein produced by plasma,) from patients who have completely recovered from COVID-19 infection, to fight the infection in the body of the Wuhan virus infected person.

However, recently a study published on the 14th of May in the British medical journal reported that in a double blind trial involving about 5,000 patients who got the treatment in the United Kingdom, no benefit was found in reducing mortality or improving patient outcomes.

The ICMR guidelines continue to recommend Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine for mild symptoms but have also underlined that both drugs had “low certainty of evidence.”

With this, the Central Government dropped the Plasma therapy treatment for COVID-19 treatment guidelines.

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