04:42 GMT20 September 2020
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    India’s federal Health and Family Welfare Ministry had issued protocols for different investigational COVID-19 therapies such as Remdesivir, Tocilizumab, Convalescent Plasma Therapy, etc. Convalescent Plasma was authorised on patients with moderate cases of the disease, who were not improving despite the use of steroids.

    India’s top biomedical research body – the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has found that plasma therapy isn't able to reduce the mortality of COVID-19 patients.

    “CP (Convalescent Plasma Therapy) was not associated with a reduction in mortality or progression to severe COVID-19,” reads the study, accessed by Sputnik.  

    In one of the largest randomised studies carried out in the world, an ICMR study titled “PLACID” was carried out with a sample size of 452 patients from 53 medical facilities across the country – both private and government-controlled.

    The multi-centre clinical study commissioned on 17 July sought to assess the “Safety and Efficacy of Convalescent Plasma to Limit COVID-19 Associated Complications in Moderate Disease” in the so-called PLCID Trial, according to an ICMR notification.

    Convalescent Plasma Therapy for COVID-19 involves transfusing a recovered patient’s plasma into someone who does not have a strong enough response against the disease.

    The therapy is to leverage the antibodies in a recovered patient’s plasma to help others beat the disease.  

    “CP is a passive immunisation strategy, inspiring clinical expectations that it could emerge as a potential therapy for a disease with no proven, effective interventions,” reads the study, which has not been peer reviewed and so could not be used to guide clinical practice.

    Indian laboratories have also been attempting to develop an effective vaccine for COVID-19.

    Three vaccine candidates have entered the advanced trial stage in India. However, one Swedish pharmaceutical major, AstraZeneca, which developed Covishield in collaboration with Oxford University, has halted phase 3 clinical trials after a trial participant developed adverse reactions.

    The company had joined up with Indian drug manufacturer Serum Institute of India for clinical trials and bulk manufacturing.

    India has a caseload of 887,394 active COVID-19 cases; 73,890 people there have lost their lives to the viral infection so far, according to data from the nation's federal Health Ministry, released on Wednesday.



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