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Delhi will not stop plasma therapy trials: Arvind Kejriwal on Centre’s warning

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on May 01, 2020 Published on May 01, 2020

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal   -  PTI

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said that Delhi will not stop plasma therapy trials to combat the coronavirus in the national capital. He said that the “initial results of the trials have been promising,” NDTV reported.

Kejriwal’s statement comes days after Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that the Centre had not approved the use of plasma therapy for treating or as a definitive cure for Covid-19 patients.

“This is not a proven therapy. It is currently in experimental stages. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is initiating a pan-India study to understand the efficacy of this therapy. Till the time it is approved, no one should use it, and it will also be considered illegal,” Agarwal had stated on April 28.

 

Delhi reported its first plasma success story last week when a 49-year-old patient, who was in the ventilator, recovered from the infectious virus.

"We had got permission from the Centre to conduct plasma trials in the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital. The first patient to have recovered has been discharged; he was very serious. Initial results are promising," the Delhi Chief Minister said this afternoon during a video conference.

So far, the national capital has reported more than 3,500 COVID-19 cases, including 59 deaths, the third-highest in the country.

Kejriwal today clarified that the trials will still be on and said: "A few days back, the central government had made some remarks (about the use of the therapy) and people reached out to me with their concerns. The government had just said that those who have the approval, only they can conduct trials. The therapy is in the trial stage, and we agree to that. While initial results are positive, we hope this will further help us in the COVID-19 fight."

"Many people asked me if Delhi is discontinuing the trials. No, we are not. All 1,100 who have recovered in the national capital are willing to donate plasma. I am highly grateful to all these patients," he added.

On Tuesday, the central government had said that plasma therapy for coronavirus is still in an experimental stage and can even prove "life-threatening" for a patient.

"The therapy is still in an experimental stage, and the Indian Council of Medical Research is conducting a national study on it. It can even be life-threatening if not carefully done," senior health ministry official Lav Agarwal had said.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra reported the first death of the Covid-19 patient who underwent treatment using plasma therapy at Mumbai's Lilavati Hospital on Wednesday night. The 53-year-old patient was in critical condition and was kept under ventilator support.

The patient had not tested negative for the coronavirus, and had not shown any improvements in his condition since the therapy was administered four days ago, reported the Times of India.

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Published on May 01, 2020
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