The Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) will soon start plasma immunisation therapy for coronavirus patients, the institute’s Executive Director Dr Seemi Jamali confirmed on Tuesday “Today is a good day for us,” Dr Jamali said. “A Memorandum of Understating (MoU) was signed between JPMC and the National Institute of Blood Diseases (NIBD) for the plasma immunisation therapy.” Head of NIBD Dr Tahir Shamsi said that JPMC has the honour to start the first clinical trials on Covid-19 patients in Karachi. “A Covid-19 patient would be administered plasma for four hours,” Dr Shamsi said. “The condition of the patient will start to improve after two to four days.” The therapy would commence after approval of the provincial health secretary. Both doctors signed the MoU on behalf of their hospitals. Earlier in April, the United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) registered the passive immunisation technique NIBD to treat Covid-19 patients. The technique is used when there is a high risk of infection and insufficient time for the body to develop its own immune response, or to reduce the symptoms of ongoing or immunosuppressive diseases. Convalescent plasma taken from a recovered patient is believed to be rich in the antibodies needed to fight off the deadly infection. The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) had approved the passive immunisation technique last month after NIBD had put forth the suggestion to the Sindh government. Trials for plasma therapy to help treat severely ill coronavirus patients are going to start soon, as the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has authorized the procedure, DRAP chief executive Asim Rauf had told media. The therapy involves collecting plasma from the blood of people who have recovered from the infection and developed antibodies to fight the disease. “Initially the coronavirus patients will be treated via the antibody technique at the National Institute of Blood Diseases and Bone Marrow Transplantation in Karachi (NIBD), LUMS Medical University in Lahore, and Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences in Jamshoro under the strict supervision of senior doctors,” Rauf said.
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