12 recovered Covid-19 patients donate blood plasma for treatment

Recovered Covid-19 patient Reza Huzairi Zainuddin donates plasma at Sungai Buloh Hospital April 5, 2020. — Bernama pic
Recovered Covid-19 patient Reza Huzairi Zainuddin donates plasma at Sungai Buloh Hospital April 5, 2020. — Bernama pic

PUTRAJAYA, April 12 — So far 12 recovered Covid-19 patients have come forward to donate their blood plasma for use in treating Covid-19 patients.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said before the Health Ministry took their blood, the former Covid-19 patients were given counselling and had to undergo tests for bacterial infection.

“After the counselling the Health Ministry will refer them to the National Blood Centre to take blood to conduct Covid-19 treatment studies using blood plasma,” he said at the Covid-19 daily press conference at the ministry here today.

Dr Noor Hisham said this when asked about the progress of Covid-19 treatment using the blood plasma of patients who have recovered from the infection.

He said the study on the treatment was still in its early stage and the ministry had to first see the effectiveness of the treatment.

“It may take some time before the ministry can find strong evidence to use it. The ministry is studying the use of blood plasma by looking at the antibody content and so on,” he added.

Asked about the rapid test kit evaluation by the Health Ministry, Dr Noor Hisham said to date the study conducted has yet to find the accurate and reliable test kit.

“Today and tomorrow there are test kits (received) from South Korea. Hopefully the evaluation will provide a high degree of accuracy to enable the ministry to use them.

“What is important about the test kit is that the Covid-19 test can be performed within a short time frame. Maybe in an hour maybe half an hour,” he added.

Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry’s choice of test kits should be the portable kind for easy use at the clinic and point of care.

Asked about the newly recovered Covid-19 patients testing positive again, he said there were only two or three such cases and they were categorised as weak positive.

“There are no cases of Covid-19 recovered patients being re-infected.

“Two or three cases of weak positive occur at the stage of virus shedding or the fading of the Covid-19 virus (from the patient’s body) and it seems to have a positive Covid-19 effect but a weak positive,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham also said the weak positive cases would not infect others. — Bernama

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