COVID-19: States push for plasma therapy as tally crosses 5.5 lakh

As cases surge, Nagaland and Tamil Nadu also joined Maharashtra, West Bengal, and Manipur in extending the lockdown beyond June 30

plasma therapy, coronavirus, COVID-19, Lockdown, lockdown extension, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra
Maharashtra and Delhi are the two worst-hit states by the pandemic both in terms of caseload and death toll — 1,69,833 and 83,077 cases, and 7,610 and 2,623 fatalities respectively. Photo: PTI

Maharashtra, Delhi, and Haryana are among the states making a big push for use of convalescent plasma therapy for treatment of critical coronavirus patients as new COVID-19 cases in the country on Monday (June 29) rose by over 15,000 for the sixth consecutive day.

A single-day spike of 19,459 COVID-19 cases took India’s tally to 5,48,318 on Monday, while the death toll climbed to 16,475 with 380 new fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry data.

India tally

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The country has seen a surge of 3,57,783 infections from June 1 till date.

The global COVID-19 count stood at 10,154,984 while the death toll was 502,048, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. India is in the fourth position in terms of confirmed cases and in the eighth spot in the overall death tally.

The number of active cases in India stands at 2,10,120, while 3,21,722 people have recovered, and one patient has migrated, according to the Health Ministry’s updated data.

Related news: Single-day spike of 19,459 COVID-19 cases takes India’s tally to 5,48,318

The gap between recoveries and active cases is 1,11,602 as of Monday, with the recovery rate now at 58.67 per cent, the ministry said, adding that a total of 12,010 COVID-19 patients have recovered since Sunday.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a total of 83,98,362 samples have been tested up to June 28, with 1,70,560 samples tested on Sunday.

Lockdown extension

As Maharashtra extended the lockdown till July 31 without any more relaxations, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray launched a convalescent plasma therapy-cum-trial project with a state medical education department official calling it the “largest” initiative of its kind in the world.

In the national capital, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced setting up of a plasma bank while Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij said the state will soon start convalescent plasma therapy in all its medical colleges.

Related news: Tamil Nadu extends lockdown till July 31; strict curbs in Chennai, Madurai

Tamil Nadu government announced the extension of lockdown till July 31 with stricter curbs in Chennai, Madurai, and other adjoining areas.

As cases surge, Nagaland also joined Maharashtra, West Bengal and Manipur in extending the lockdown beyond June 30. But like Manipur the curbs will be in force only till July 15.

From the states

Maharashtra and Delhi are the two worst-hit states by the pandemic both in terms of caseload and death toll — 1,69,833 and 83,077 cases, and 7,610 and 2,623 fatalities respectively. The western state reported over 5,000 cases for the fourth consecutive day on Monday.

With 13,829 cases, Haryana is in the 9th spot in the overall tally while the death count was 223.

A Maharashtra government official said all critical patients will receive two doses of 200 ml convalescent plasma free of cost.

“The project, titled Platina, is the largest convalescent plasma therapy-cum-trial project in the world. With it, we intend to save lives of some 500 critical COVID-19 patients. The trial will be held in 17 medical colleges under the department of medical education and drugs, and four BMC-run colleges in Mumbai,” he added.

Addressing an online media briefing, Chief Minister Kejriwal said the planned plasma bank will start working in the next two days, adding the AAP government will encourage those who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate their plasma.

He said the AAP government has so far conducted clinical trial of plasma therapy on 29 COVID-19 patients and the result was “encouraging”.

Related news: COVID-19: Maharashtra launches ‘largest’ plasma trial, ‘Project Platina’

Haryana to start Plasma Therapy for treatment of Covid-19 patients in all its medical colleges after approval from ICMR, said state Health Minister Anil Vij in a tweet.

AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria recently said the number of people infected is not important as long as the mortality is low. Our aim is to work towards keeping a low mortality.

As states ramp up testing, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath directed officers to increase COVID-19 testing facilities in the state and operate available TrueNat machines at full capacity.

Use of TrueNat machines should be promoted in private hospitals, he said addressing an unlock review meeting with senior officers and ministers.

“The testing capacity for COVID-19 should be increased. Available TrueNat and rapid antigen machines should be operated at full capacity for doing maximum tests in the state,” an official release said quoting the chief minister.

As part of its efforts to ramp up the testing capacity, the ICMR had approved the use of TrueNat, a diagnostic machine for tuberculosis, for conducting coronavirus tests.

Himachal Pradesh’s tribal district of Lahaul and Spiti, meanwhile, reported its first COVID-19 case on Monday after a 25-year-old labourer from Bihar tested positive, officials said.

Related news: Maharashtra extends lockdown till July 31, restricts public movement

The sample of the labourer, who is working with the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), was taken at the Keylong regional hospital, they said.

With this, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Himachal Pradesh has risen to 918.

Besides Maharashtra, several states continued to record a big jump.

Tamil Nadu reported nearly 4,000 fresh cases and the tally crossed 86,000 while 62 more deaths brought the toll to 1,141.

The COVID-19 tally in Andhra Pradesh spiralled to 13,891 as 783 fresh cases were added while 11 more deaths took the toll to 180.

Telangana has also recorded big surge in cases which has crossed the 14,000 mark.

(With inputs from agencies)

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