On a day Punjab crossed the 1,000 cases mark, the state government got approval from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to conduct clinical trials for Convalescent Plasma Therapy on COVID-19 patients.
A government statement said Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had allowed use of this therapy when Ludhiana ACP (North) Anil Kohli was infected by the coronavirus and admitted in SPS Hospital Ludhiana. However, ACP Kohli’s condition deteriorated and he passed away before the therapy could be tried out. The matter was, however, pursued and a formal proposal sent to ICMR for formal approval.
Additional Chief Secretary Governance Reforms and Chairman, COVID Health Sector Response & Procurement Committee, Vini Mahajan said trials are expected to commence shortly.
According to the ACS, Government Medical College Amritsar and Patiala, Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital in Faridkot, Guru Ram Das Institute of Medical Sciences and Research at Amritsar, the Christian Medical College and Hospital at Ludhiana, the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital at Ludhiana and Satguru Partap Singh Hospital, also in Ludhiana, have partnered to conduct plasma therapy trials.
Inter-institution coordination will be done by principal investigators, who will ensure that the trials are conducted in strict accordance with ICMR protocol.
Mahajan said a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed by the principal investigators, including Dr Aikaj Jindal, head of department, transfusion medicine, Satguru Partap Singh Apollo Hospital, Ludhiana, and Dr M Joseph John, head of department, clinical hematology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana Dr M Joseph John.
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