Bengaluru, April 21: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has given permission for plasma therapy on critical coronavirus patients to a doctor in Karnataka, state Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar said on Tuesday. Through a tweet, Minister Sudhakar said the ICMR accepted the Karnataka government's request and gave permission to Dr Vishal Rao of HCG Bangalore Institute Of Oncology Specialty for plasma therapy on critical coronavirus patients. Coronavirus Live Tracker in India.

"Plasma therapy holds great promise in treating Covid-19 patients and I am happy to inform that ICMR agreed to our request and has given permission for plasma treatment to Dr. Vishal Rao, HCG Bangalore Inst of Oncology (sic)," Sudhakar tweeted, attaching a photocopy of the permission letter. Directorate General of Health Services, Government of India, the letter said, gives permission to Dr. Vishal Rao for plasma therapy in "COVID19 Severe SARS-Cov-2" disease. Delhi's 1st COVID-19 Patient Treated With Plasma Therapy Recovers.

Karnataka Minister K Sudhakar's Tweet:

In convalescent plasma therapy, the antibodies of a person who has recovered from the virus are taken and transfused into a sick person (having the virus) to help boost the person's immune system. The therapy has shown positive results. The Max Hospital in Delhi on Monday said a COVID-19 patient on whom the plasma therapy was administrated showed progressive improvement.

The 49-year-old man became the first patient to be administered plasma therapy at the Max Hospital. The patient had tested positive for COVID-19 on April 4 and was admitted on the same day to the coronavirus facility at the Max Hospital with moderate symptoms and a history of fever and respiratory issues. "His condition deteriorated during the next few days and he soon required external oxygen to maintain saturation. He also developed pneumonia with Type I respiratory failure and had to be put on ventilator support on April 8," the hospital said.

When the patient showed no improvement, his family members requested the hospital to administer plasma therapy on compassionate grounds, a first of its kind treatment modality that is being used for the disease in India. "The family came forward to arrange a donor for extracting plasma. The donor had recovered from the infection (confirmed by two consecutive negative reports) three weeks ago and again tested COVID-19 negative at the time of donation along with other standard tests to rule out infections like Hep B, Hep C and HIV," the hospital said.

The critically ill patient was administered fresh plasma as a treatment modality as a side-line to the standard treatment protocols on the night of April 14, it said. "After receiving the treatment, the patient showed progressive improvement and by the fourth day, he was weaned off ventilator support on the morning of April 18 and continued on supplementary oxygen thereafter," it added. Several states, including Kerala, Telangana and Gujarat have sought permission from the ICMR for plasma therapy.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Apr 21, 2020 04:06 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website