Pakistan begins plasma therapy trials as first COVID-19 patient fully recovered

Five more hospitals have reached out to DRAP to conduct clinical trials for passive immunization

A patient in Pakistan recovered from Novel Coronavirus in seven days with the help of plasma treatment, National Institute of Blood Disease’s (NIBD) head Dr. Tahir Shamsi revealed. Dr. Shamsi, however, did not impart any details about the patient or which hospital carried out the treatment.  

“Alhamdolillah, (by the grace of God), the first coronavirus patient treated through passive immunization has recovered and discharged from the hospital,” Dr. Shamsi told Anadolu Agency.

Shamsi, who is also leading the team of hematologists assigned for clinical trials, also clarified that it was a successful clinical trial, and more work needs to be done before the treatment can be used at a mass scale.

“Let me make it very clear that it’s a successful clinical trial only. We cannot declare it an approved treatment for the novel virus at this stage,” said Shamsi. “We still have to wait to say something definitive in this regard after more and more successful clinical trials,” he maintained.

Five more hospitals have reached out to the Drug Regulatory of Pakistan (DRAP) to conduct the clinical trials for passive immunization. The treatment works with injecting blood plasma from recovered patients into the infected patient to help them develop antibodies for the virus.

“The Clinical Study Committee (CSC) of DRAP allowed clinical trials of convalescent plasma for the purpose of passive immunization during the Covid-19 pandemic in Pakistan,” an official statement said last month.

Currently, thee hospitals in Sindh are testing the treatment. Dr. Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi, the National Institute of Blood Diseases (NIBD) and Liaquat University Hospital, Hyderabad received the nod from Sindh Department of Health to conduct the clinical trials. University of Health Sciences, Lahore, is also conducting similar trials.

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