Coronavirus: Bahrain reports 164 cases, one death, hails plasma transfusion benefits

Doctors and nurses at a car-park of Bahrain Defence Force Hospital in Riffa. (Reuters)

Bahrain reported on Saturday 164 new cases of coronavirus infection and one death, raising the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country up to 6,747 and the death toll up to 13 fatalities, according to the Ministry of Health.

Out of the new cases, 123 were expat workers, 38 were people who contracted the virus from contact with previously infected patients, and 3 were travel-related.

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The new fatality was a 67-year-old Bahraini national who suffered from chronic health problems and was in isolation.

The country also reported 122 new recoveries, bringing the total number of recovered COVID-19 patients up to 2,762.

Convalescent plasma

Dr. Manal el-Sayed Ahmed, hematology and internal medicine specialist at Bahrain’s military hospital, stressed the importance of the convalescent plasma transfusion protocol in treating coronavirus.

“When the human body is infected with any virus, including COVID-19, the immune system begins to form antibodies. Those antibodies help the body overcome the virus and recover from disease. The antibodies are present in the plasma component of blood,” she said, according to state news agency BNA.

“An individual who recovered from coronavirus donates one blood bag, or the equivalent of 450 ml. At the blood bank, we extract the antibodies-containing plasma and transfuse it to people currently suffering from severe symptoms of coronavirus such as acute pneumonia or hypoxia or patients in critical condition in the intensive care unit (ICU), so that they can develop acquired immunity.”

She added that since convalescent plasma donation was allowed in mid-April, more than 150 recovered coronavirus patients tried to donate, and the health authorities collected samples from more than 100 people who met the requirements.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 14:07 - GMT 11:07
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