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Pakistan

Web Desk
June 6, 2020

Fawad Chaudhry takes DC Islamabad to task over plasma treatment claims

Pakistan

Web Desk
Sat, Jun 06, 2020
DC Islamabad's claim on plasma donations was refuted by Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry on June 6, 2020. — AFP/Files

Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry on Saturday clarified that there was no substantial evidence backing claims that coronavirus patients who had recovered could donate their plasma in 10 days intervals.

The minister responded to a tweet from the Deputy Commissioner of Islamabad Muhammed Hamza Shafqaat, which claimed: "If you have recovered from coronavirus you can donate your plasma at 10 day intervals."

"Coronavirus patients are on ventilators. Their chances of recovery are improved by 80% with this [plasma] treatment," the government official claimed.

The post was later removed by the deputy commissioner. — Twitter

Taking Shafqaat to task, Chaudhry said: "There is no such research to back your claim. [Government] officials must be very careful for making such observations."

"In Ministry of Science and Technology we are keeping track of [international] and local research. [Such] claims are unsubstantiated," he said.

Earlier in the day, the head of the National Institute of Blood Disease & Bone Marrow Transplantation (NIBD & BMT) and hematologist, Dr Tahir Shamsi, said that plasma treatment was showing positive results.

At least "120 patients have been treated through passive immunisation and they have shown encouraging results," he said, while speaking in Geo News' programme "Geo Pakistan".

"Through this treatment, we have saved 80 patients from being moved to ventilators [...] They are now recovering," he added.

Pakistan recorded 95,458 infections and 1,954 deaths, while more than 32,581 have recovered from the virus. The country has registered record cases since the ease in lockdown restrictions, inviting criticism from the medical fraternity.