In a positive development for Maharashtra's battle against Coronavirus (COVID-19), State Health Minister Rajesh Tope, on Thursday, said that the plasma trial conducted on a patient in Pune's Sassoon Hospital. Maharashtra's previous attempt at plasma therapy had failed after the first patient had succumbed to COVID-19 at Lilavati hospital. Maharashtra currently has 41642 cases and 1454 deaths.
ससून हॉस्पिटल पुणे मध्ये पहिली प्लाझ्मा थेरपी यशस्वी. कोरोना रुग्णावर प्लाझ्मा थेरपी यशस्वी.— Rajesh Tope (@rajeshtope11) May 21, 2020
The Plasma Therapy conducted on Covid19 patient at Sasoon Hospital Pune is successful.#CoronaVirusUpdates #MeechMazaRakshak #मीचमाझारक्षक #मैंहीमेरारक्षक
On April 29, Tope had announced that the first COVID-19 patient to receive plasma therapy at Mumbai's Lilavati hospital was successful. He added that the government was carrying out a second experiment on another patient in BYL Nair hospital, also in Mumbai. Sadly, the first patient - a 53-year old male, succumbed to the disease on May 1.
On May 7, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) began its multi-centre clinical trial to evaluate the safety of convalescent plasma therapy to treat COVID-19 patients. ICMR has approved 21 institutions for participating in a randomized controlled study to assess the safety and efficacy of convalescent plasma to limit complications associated with COVID-19. The sample size of the study is 452 and the clinical trial liability insurance has been bought centrally by the ICMR, officials said.
The ICMR has maintained that plasma therapy can only be used for clinical trials and not for treatment as such. Several governments like Kerala, Delhi, Maharashtra have already received permission from the Centre to start plasma therapy on critical patients, by administering plasma donated by a cured patient on a COVID-19 critical patient to battle the virus affecting the patient. As soon as several states started plasma trials, with some showing positive results, the Union Health Ministry warned against its use, saying that the plasma therapy for the treatment of coronavirus patients is at an experimental stage and has the potential to cause life-threatening complications.
After extending lockdown till May 30, the state has divided its COVID-19 zones as “red zones” and “non-red zones", instead of red, orange, and green zones - based on death count and doubling rate. As per the new definition, Maharashtra's red zones are Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune, Solapur, Aurangabad, Malegaon, Nashik, Dhule, Jalgoan, Akola and Amravati, while the rest of the state are non-red zones. While stringent restrictions prevalent in the previous red zones, the rest of the state has been allowed to open up as per MHA's Lockdown 4.0 guidelines.