No plasma left for virus treatment
The country has run out of plasma from recovered Covid-19 patients which can be used to reduce the severity of symptoms in patients with active infections, according to Chulalongkorn University's Centre of Excellence in Clinical Virology.
The centre's chief, Dr Yong Poovorawan, yesterday said the last 200 bags of plasma Thailand had in its reserves were used to treat 160 patients this month.
According to Dr Yong, the reserves were quickly used up because the number of patients seeking convalescent plasma therapy had climbed.
Back in February, 400 people who had recovered from the disease volunteered to donate their plasma, although further examinations determined only 152 were fit enough to make donations. In total, 383 bags of convalescent plasma were obtained -- 160 of which were used to produce 700 bottles of Covid-19 intramuscular immunoglobulin (CIMIG).
Yesterday, Dr Yong said there is currently a long waiting list for plasma treatment, despite the fact that the therapy can only be administered to those who have not displayed late-stage lung infection and hypoxaemia.
Dr Yong went on to allay fears about further virus mutations which many fear would complicate treatments, saying most patients are confined to hospitals and/or other medical facilities, so the chances of different strains intermixing is next to zero.
Dr Yong's team first began collecting plasma last year. Those who donated were tested for the virus 14 days beforehand, must have been aged 17-60 and weighing more than 50kg.