By Mukhtar Alam:
A Sindh Health department committee constituted to examine the experimental use of plasma therapy in the case of COVID-19 patients in the province in future met, with provincial health minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho in chair, on April 15.
A source privy to the meeting said that it has been decided to set a relevant set of protocols, along with recommendations of the committee, which will be submitted to the Sindh Corona Task Force for consideration.
Upon the approval of protocols by the task force, headed by the Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, the scientists will be allowed to carry out any experimental use of COVID-19 convalescent plasmas for the passive of immunization in the province and country, added the source, informing that the experiments may be carried out at the National Institute of Blood Diseases, Dow University of Health Sciences Hospital and the Aga Khan University Hospital.
The meeting was told that the National Bioethics Committee Pakistan has cleared the plasma therapy project in question for a period of one year, while the Drug Regulatory of Pakistan in order to protect the coronavirus patients has approved the clinical trial with the title “Experimental use of COVID-19 convalescent plasma for the purpose of passive immunization in current Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.”
The health department’s committee, which was supposed to study and evaluate the practicality of the process in view of local circumstances, will meet again soon. The department has co-opted a couple of more experts in the committee, it was learnt.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho said that the experimental clinical trial will reveal the benefits and adverse impacts to the world.
She expressed the hope that scientists will get plasma from the cured coronavirus patients in adequate quantity in the shortest possible time and use that to save the lives of an optimum number of patients.
She also called for providing guidance to the heads, focal persons of the government designated centre for corona diseases treatment and physicians who treat the corona infection diseases. “They should be informed of passive immunization procedure and guided about the correct use of the therapy duly.”