Plasma therapy can still be used in Covid treatment on advice of doctors: Jain

A day after the Centre removed convalescent plasma therapy from the country’s clinical management guidelines for Covid-19, terming it ineffective in reducing the progression to severe disease, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday said “it may still be used for treatment at the advice of doctors.”

“Plasma therapy has been dropped from the specific methodology of Covid treatment, however, on the suggestion of doctors, it can still be initiated. It depends on a case-to-case basis, and will be done only after the recommendation of the doctor. Nevertheless, we must know that there is no sure-shot specific medicine meant only for treatment against Covid -19,” Jain said.

In July last year, Delhi became the first state to start a plasma bank at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) in Vasant Kunj. Two others at the Delhi government’s Lok Nayak and Guru Teg Bahadur hospitals were started later.

Jain asserted that a downward trend in cases and the reduced positivity rate in the city is a hopeful sign, but people need to follow Covid protection guidelines strictly until the daily positivity rate is reduced to 2 percent.

Delhi has reported 3,846 new Covid cases and the daily positivity rate declined to 5.78 per cent in the last 24 hours, according to the Delhi government’s health bulletin issued on Wednesday.

“We have dropped down from 28,000 cases to around 4000, hence, this is a hopeful sign. However, we must strive towards having a positivity rate below 5 per cent and preferably around 2 per cent. We cannot afford complacency and must follow Covid-appropriate behaviour,” Jain said.

On the situation of Covid beds in Delhi, Jain said there are nearly 27,000 beds as of now. Approximately 6,500 of these are ICU beds, of which 1200 are vacant. Furthermore, he highlighted that “black fungus or mucormycosis” can be treated through the standard protocol only, and not at home.

“The medicines need to be available in the hospitals as black fungus cannot be treated at homes. It is meant to be treated in hospitals, under the supervision of doctors. All measures are being taken to maintain the supply of medicines in the hospitals. The supply was less and we have demanded one lakh units of the medicine for the treatment of black fungus,” Jain added.