India has been vouching for plasma therapy on severely ill and moderately ill COVID-19 patients. Taking the matter a step further, the Indian state of Karnataka is now incentivizing plasma donation from recovered COVID-19 patients.
While there has been no established scientific research claiming that plasma therapy is an effective cure for severely ill coronavirus patients, and the method is largely experimental, some studies and pieces of evidence have found that the therapy can reduce the suffering time of the disease in severely ill patients by improving the conditions of
Medical Education Minister Dr. K Sudhakar confirmed NDTV that the state will extend an Rs. 5000 payment to those recovered COVID-19 patients who will step forward to donate their invaluable antibody infested plasma.
Plasma, the liquid, pale-colored part of the blood contains antibodies when the immune system has fought off a disease. In the case of coronavirus patients who’ve recovered, their plasma will have the antibody against the COVID-19 virus, which originated in Wuhan, China.
According to reports, many states in India have noticed a shortage of plasma which is increasingly in demand for use in convalescent plasma therapy, or CPT; just like some drugs like Remdesivir and Tocilizumab that are unproven to cure the virus but are being used to support symptoms.
“Now, since around 18,000 people have recovered in Karnataka we have announced an incentive for those who can donate their plasma, Sudhakar told NDTV. He said CPT has been quite successful in his state, echoing the similar sentiments of Delhi CM Kejriwal who has commissioned India’s first plasma bank in New Delhi for COVID patients.
“More than 80 percent of people who received plasma have been completely cured; even those who were on ventilator have shown improvement,” Sudhakar said. Perhaps, Karnataka in the second state after Delhi to deal with plasma therapy prominently.
Clarifying any sentiments that can be hurtful regarding incentivizing plasma donation, he also mentioned: “It is not to humiliate anybody, it is just a token of appreciation and gratitude from the government.”
Karnataka has recorded more than 47k coronavirus cases, with the state capital and Indian tech-hub Bengaluru being the hotspot of the disease. More than 18k people have recovered in karnataka and 928 people have lost their lives to the virus.
(Cover image courtesy of DiverDave via Commons)