Saturday Jun 06, 2020
Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry on Saturday refuted claims that people who had recovered from coronavirus could donate plasma within 10 day intervals.
The minister responded to a tweet from the Deputy Commissioner of Islamabad Muhammed Hamza Shafqaat, which claimed: "If you have recovered from coronavirus you can donate your plasma at 10 day intervals."
"Coronavirus patients are on ventilators. Their chances of recovery are improved by 80% with this [plasma] treatment," the government official claimed.
Taking Shafqaat to task, Chaudhry said: "There is no such research to back your claim. [Government] officials must be very careful for making such observations."
"In Ministry of Science and Technology we are keeping track of [international] and local research. [Such] claims are unsubstantiated," he said.
Earlier in the day, the head of the National Institute of Blood Disease & Bone Marrow Transplantation (NIBD & BMT) and hematologist, Dr Tahir Shamsi, said that plasma treatment was showing positive results.
At least "120 patients have been treated through passive immunisation and they have shown encouraging results," he said, while speaking in Geo News' programme "Geo Pakistan".
"Through this treatment, we have saved 80 patients from being moved to ventilators [...] They are now recovering," he added.
Pakistan recorded 95,458 infections and 1,954 deaths, while more than 32,581 have recovered from the virus. The country has registered record cases since the ease in lockdown restrictions, inviting criticism from the medical fraternity.