Egyptians who have recovered from the novel coronavirus have been encouraged to donate their plasma to patients still infected and in critical condition, as the government conducts plasma therapy trials in an effort to battle the spread of the disease.
For COVID-19 treatment, researchers world-wide are studying the use of convalescent plasma and other treatments made with blood from recently recovered patients, which is believed to be rich in antibodies that can help a weakened immune system fight the virus.
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“The idea is to take the plasma of recovered patients, which has antibodies, and inject it into another patient whose immune system is unable to face the virus on its own,” said the general manager of the Egyptian National Blood Transfusion Services, Ehab Serraj Eldin.
In Egypt, the ministry of health has started a campaign that calls on citizens to donate their plasma if they meet certain conditions.
“I wanted to do a humanitarian act by giving my plasma and blood. Hopefully it goes to someone who can use it to recover,” said a recovered coronavirus patient, Taha Saber.
However, the number of infected coronavirus cases is still much higher than the number of donors, deputy manager at the Egyptian National Blood Transfusion Services, Omneya Mahmoud, said.
In an online statement, the ministry of health said that plasma therapy trials have so far been successful, lessening patients’ needs for ventilators and increasing the rate of recovery.
In an effort to battle the spread of the disease, the ministry of health has also began a system of care-package distribution, handed out to cases being isolated at home.
Egypt has so far recorded 42,980 confirmed coronavirus cases and 1,484 deaths, having reached the highest daily increase for both counts on Saturday.