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Plasma therapy may be removed from national Covid-19 treatment guidelines: ICMR

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Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General of ICMR during a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Photo/ANI)

New Delhi [India], October 20 (ANI): Convalescent Plasma Therapy may be removed from the national guideline for the treatment of novel coronavirus after an India Council of Medical Research study revealed that it did not help in reducing mortality or slow the progression of Covid-19, the ICMR chief said on Tuesday.
Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) at today’s Union health ministry’s briefing said: “We are discussing with the national task force on COVID19 management and with the joint monitoring group that may be deleted from the national treatment guidelines on COVID.”
He was responding to a question posed to him about hospitals recommending plasma therapy to Covid-19 patients even though it does show any benefit to a patient in his/her recovery.
The apex medical research body has made these revelations to investigate the effectiveness of plasma therapy for the treatment of COVID-19 after conducting a study in 39 hospitals across India.
For this, the ICMR researchers conducted an open-label, parallel-arm, phase II, multicentre, and randomized controlled trial from April 22 to July 14. The trial was registered with the Clinical Trial Registry of India (CTRI) for the purpose, it said.
A total of 1210 patients (moderately ill confirmed COVID-19) admitted across 39 trial sites were screened. Of these, 29 were teaching public hospitals and 10 were private hospitals spread across 14 states and Union Territories representing 25 cities.
At least 464 participants were selected after screening and were hospitalized who were moderately ill confirmed COVID-19 patients. They were randomly enrolled. About 235 participants were put in the intervention arm while 229 subjects were in the control arm.
According to the study, participants were randomized to either the control or the intervention arm. Two doses of 200 ml CP was transfused 24 hours apart in the intervention arm, the study noted.
“Composite primary outcome was achieved in 44 (18.7 percent) participants in the intervention arm and 41 (17.9 percent) in the control arm. Mortality was documented in 34 (13.6 percent) and 31 (14.6 percent) participants in intervention and control arm, respectively,” the study mentioned.
“Convalescent plasma was not associated with reduction in mortality or progression to severe COVID-19. This trial has high generalized ability and approximates real-life setting of convalescent plasma therapy in settings with limited laboratory capacity. A priori measurement of neutralizing antibody titres in donors and participants may further clarify the role of CP in management of COVID-19,” concluded the findings of the study.
Meanwhile, Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary Union Health Ministry said that for capping the price of coronavirus treatment apex court has received several petitions.
“The Supreme Court has given directions the state and central government which are being followed,” Bhushan said while responding on a question related to fix the price for covid19 treatment. (ANI)

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