Union Health Ministry has asserted that there is no evidence, presently, to support the efficacy of plasma therapy for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
Addressing a press briefing, Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal pointed out that there are no approved therapies for COVID-19, as on today.
“The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has stated clearly that there is no approved therapy for Covid-19, including plasma therapy. In fact, there is no approved therapy for Covid-19 anywhere in the world,” he said.
“ICMR has launched a national-level study to study the efficacy of plasma therapy in the treatment of COVID 19. Till ICMR concludes its study and a robust scientific proof is available, plasma therapy should be used only for research or trial purpose. If plasma therapy is not used in proper manner under proper guidelines, then it can also cause life-threatening complications,” he added.
He went on to say that it would be “unethical” and “illegal” to call “plasma therapy” a treatment for the coronavirus infection until the ICMR concludes its study.
“The plasma therapy is one of the therapies being experimented with for Covid-19. But there is no evidence to support this therapy as a treatment of this disease. It’s still at the experimental stage. The USFDA is also looking at it as an experiment only,” he said.
Under plasma therapy, plasma of a recovered person, in this case – Covid-19, is taken and infused in the patient. But till date, no country has okayed this therapy for treatment for Covid-19.
Lav Agarwal further said that the doubling rate of coronavirus cases now stands at 10.2 days.
He added that in the last 24 hours, 1,543 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported, taking the total cases to 29,435.
“6,868 COVID-19 patients, which is 23.3 per cent of total cases, have recovered so far,” he added.