Maharashtra launches plasma therapy trial programme

Published : June 30, 2020 00:00 IST

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Photo: Emmanual Yogini

The Maharashtra government launched Project Platina, a plasma therapy trial programme, at the Government Medical College in Nagpur on June 29. The State government said trials would be conducted in 17 medical colleges across Maharashtra. It aims to create a bank of plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients, who would have the antibodies to fight the virus.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said some 500 patients were under critical care and would be eligible for the treatment. He added that the government plans to scale up the treatment since Maharashtra has been the worst hit by the coronavirus.

The trial and treatment will be free of cost. Thackeray said the project’s estimated cost is Rs.16.65 crore, which would be borne by the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

In the absence of a cure for COVID-19, plasma therapy is being used in critical cases and has seen a reasonable success rate. In May, the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) permitted some hospitals to conduct plasma therapy trials, including Nair Hospital and Kasturba Hospital in Mumbai.