India has witnessed mixed reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic, with plasma treatment and Covaxin vaccine being balanced by a steady rise of cases.
Crux of the Matter
Plasma In Maharashtra-Delhi
Maharashtra government recently launched project ‘Platina‘, which would create the world’s largest Plasma therapy trial for Covid-19 patients in critical stage. Initially, the therapy would be provided to 500 patients, with the government aiming for treating 5,000 patients till August.
Similarly, Delhi government has announced the setting up of a Plasma Bank, which would be the first of its type in India. Satyendra Jain, the Health Minister of Delhi, recently availed the Plasma treatment after testing positive for Covid-19. After the therapy, Jain has shown significant improvement in health. Consequently, Jain and Atishi Marlena, a leader of the Aam Aadmi Party, have pledged to donate their plasma after recovery.
What Is Plasma Therapy?
Plasma is the liquid part of blood which contains the antibodies. Human immune system develops antibodies while combating a virus. A recovered patient can donate blood by consent, from which the plasma is recovered. This plasma, laden with antibodies, is then transferred to other patients.
Plasma therapy has several risks, including the weakening of the immune system and the augmentation of the infection. However, several Covid-19 patients have shown significant improvements, chiefly in respiration and oxygen saturation levels.
COVAXIN is the first Indian candidate for Covid-19 vaccine, and recently received permission to conduct human trials.
The vaccine is developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV). It is an inactivated type of vaccine, which contains a virus that has been rendered incapable of replication.
- Michael Rubinstein was the first to use plasmapheresis to treat an immune-related disorder when he saved the life of an adolescent boy with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is a blood disorder that results in blood clots forming in small blood vessels throughout the body.
- The United States has bought nearly the entire world’s supply of Remdesivir, one of just two drugs proven to treat COVID-19. US authorities secured more than 500,000 treatment courses of the drug through September, which represents 100% of Gilead’s projected production for July, 90% of production in August, and 90% of production in September.
- The world No. 1 in men’s tennis, Novak Djokovic announced that he and his wife, Jelena, had tested positive for the coronavirus. He organized an exhibition series in Croatia and Serbia which resulted in many attendees testing positive towards the virus. “I am so deeply sorry our tournament has caused harm,” Djokovic said on social media.
- Firstpost – Maharashtra launches Project Platina, ‘world’s largest’ plasma therapy trial for COVID-19 patients; all you need to know
- NDTV – Delhi To Have Plasma Bank, Arvind Kejriwal Asks Covid Survivors To Donate
- India Today – What is Plasma Therapy: A possible treatment for coronavirus?
- The Indian Express – Explained: What is Covaxin, India’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate; how long before approval?
- The Print – Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain receives plasma therapy, under ICU monitoring for 24 hrs