All the members of the task force, which includes senior officials, scientists and top doctors, were in favour of removing the use of plasma therapy from the treatment guidelines at a meeting last week. The Convalescent plasma therapy, widely used in hospitals for treating moderate and serious coronavirus patients, has been dropped from the centre’s list of recommended lines of treatment for COVID-19. The National Covid Task Force took the decision as the experimental procedure was found to be ineffective in reducing the progression of the disease or fatalities.
The procedure had been part of previous guidelines that said it could be used on moderate patients within seven days of the onset of symptoms. This comes after several scientists had written to Principal Scientific Advisor K Vijay Raghavan, warning against the “irrational and non-scientific use” of the procedure in the country. The letter, which was marked to Indian Council Medical Research head Balram Bhargava and AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria, had claimed that early evidence indicated a possible association between emergence of variants with “lower susceptibility to neutralising antibodies in immunosuppressed” people given plasma therapy.