Friday Jun 05, 2020
KARACHI: Sindh Governor Imran Ismail on Friday donated his blood plasma for the treatment of patients suffering from the deadly coronavirus.
Professor Dr Tahir Shamsi, a hematologist and transplant physician at the National Institute of Blood Diseases & Bone Marrow Transplantation (NIBD & BMT), oversaw the donation plasma process.
Ismail had earlier announced that he would donate his blood plasma after he recovered from the respiratory disease, which has so far infected more than 90,000 people across Pakistan. Over 1,800 people have died of the coronavirus to date.
Speaking on the occasion, the Sindh governor said people who had recovered from the deadly coronavirus must donate their plasma. Dr Shamsi deserves praise for the plasma treatment, he added.
In a video statement on Twitter, Ismail said: "I'm doing this because God had me go through this process of recovering from the coronavirus. It's our duty to save as many lives as we can.
"There are antibodies in the blood of a patient who recovers from coronavirus, Dr Shamsi told me, and that [one recovered patient] can donate four times, once a week," he added, noting that since one person could donate plasma to two people, they could, by extension, save up to eight lives.
"Keeping blood plasma to oneself is not okay. If we donate and save even six people, then it's great," he mentioned.
"We shouldn't fear it," the Sindh governor said, referring to the process of donating blood plasma. "People scare those who recover by making ignorant comments, such as that donation would make them feel weak or that they might contract coronavirus again.
"That's all a myth. There's nothing like that. You should take experts' opinion. It's your duty to help people because there are so many people waiting for it.
"Dr Shamsi told me there's a very low ratio of people willing to donate their blood plasma. It is selfish not to donate and it's better to do it now lest you regret it later. It is a blessing from God that we recovered [from coronavirus] so we should donate blood plasma," Ismail added.
Blood plasma therapy helps protect almost 80% of coronavirus patients from being put on a ventilator, the NIBD medic said, adding that a healthy person's plasma could be used for two coronavirus patients.