Sindh constitutes committee to examine plasma use on COVID-19 patients

KARACHI: Sindh government on Saturday constituted an eight-member committee to examine the use of plasma in treating coronavirus patients. According to a notification issued, the committee comprised of health experts from public and private institutions. The committee would comprise of Federal Secretary for Human Rights Rabia Agha, Advocate Zamir Ghumro, Dr Tahir Shamsi, Dr Shobha Lakshmi, and Dr Khawar Abbas. The committee would look into if using plasma therapy on coronavirus patients is useful or not. The body would also determine ways to obtain plasma at local level along with documenting all legal and medical aspects needed to be sorted out before using the said treatment. On April 09, in a major development to fight coronavirus, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) allowed clinical trials of blood plasma therapy to treat coronavirus patients in the country. Plasma, the fluid in blood teeming with antibodies post-illness, has already proven effective in small studies to treat infectious diseases including Ebola and SARS. The announcement was made by Special Assistant to PM on Health, Dr Zafar Mirza. “The DRAP has also approved local manufacturing of the raw material of the anti-malarial drug, chloroquine.” Dr Mirza said the DRAP has also allowed clinical tests of the domestically produced ventilators. More than 50 local companies have been permitted to produce hand sanitiizers due to the shortage of it [hand sanitizers] in the market.