Goa seeks ICMR nod for using convalescent plasma therapy

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Panaji: The Goa government has sought the permission of the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) for using convalescent plasma therapy to treat COVID-19 patients, Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said on Tuesday.

He said the state has all the required facilities to store blood plasma.

Goa has so far recorded 1,813 COVID-19 cases, of which 745 are active while seven have succumbed to the infection.

“The state government has already written to the ICMR seeking their nod to treat COVID-19 patients using the plasma therapy. We will procure the latest equipment to derive plasma from recovered patients,” Rane told reporters in Pernem.

The therapy involves taking antibodies from the blood of a person who has recovered from COVID-19 and transfusing those antibodies into an active coronavirus patient to help kickstart the immune system to fight the infection.

He said the government will recruit more doctors to expand the current testing capacity, and will also procure additional ambulances under the existing 108 initiative in view of the growing number of COVID-19 patients.

Rane referred to an incident wherein a COVID-19 patient from Taleigao village near Panaji was forced to wait for hours for an ambulance.