New Delhi: United States President Donald Trump on Sunday made a “breakthrough” announcement and said that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the emergency use of convalescent plasma for treatment of coronavirus patients. Also Read - 2021 Haridwar Kumbh: In a First, Number of Pilgrims to Be Restricted; Entry Passes to Be Issued
“Today I am pleased to make a truly historic announcement, in our battle against China virus, that will save countless lives. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has issued an emergency use authorisation for a treatment known as convalescent plasma,” Trump said from the White House. Also Read - COVID-19 Implications: Patients Suffering From COVID-19 Are Facing Cardiac Issues
“It’s only made possible because of Operation Warp Speed, i.e. everybody working together. We’re years ahead of approvals. If we went by the speed levels of past administration would be 2-3 yrs behind where we’re today. That includes vaccines you would be hearing about very soon,” he added. Also Read - COVID-19 Vaccine Will Be Available By The Beginning of 2021: Harsh Vardhan
The US President said that the government provided $48 million to fund the studies of the treatment, that is believed to have reduced the COVID-19 mortality rate by 35 per cent. “According to the study, around one hundred thousand Americans have already enrolled in receiving this treatment,” he said.
Interestingly, the announcement comes on the eve of the Republican National Convention.
The blood plasma, taken from patients who have recovered from the coronavirus and rich in antibodies, is said to provide benefits to those battling with the COVID-19. But the evidence so far has been inconclusive as to how it works or how best to administer it.
Regardless, Trump requested Americans who had recovered to donate plasma claiming that the US had the lowest case fatality rate among other major countries of the world.
He further said, “You can see the results going up even substantially” in the coming days.
Earlier this month, Mayo Clinic researchers reported a strong hint that blood plasma from COVID-19 survivors helps other infected patients recover. But it wasn’t considered proof.
More than 64,000 patients in the US have been given convalescent plasma, a century-old approach to fend off flu and measles before vaccines. It’s a go-to tactic when new diseases come along, and history suggests it works against some, but not all, infections.