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Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Egypt to trial plasma therapy using blood from coronavirus survivors

Sama Osama , Sunday 19 Apr 2020
A man wearing a protective face mask, amid concerns over the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), walks with others near traditional Ramadan products which are displayed for sale at Al Khayamia street in old Cairo, Egypt April 16, 2020. Picture taken April 16, 2020. REUTERS

Egypt’s health ministry has begun clinical trials using blood plasma from patients who have recovered from the coronavirus to treat the illness, sources from the ministry told several new outlets on Sunday.

The ministry has reportedly collected blood samples from two people who have recovered from COVID-19.

The goal of the treatment is to transfer the antibodies in the blood of patients who have recently recovered from the virus to those patients currently fighting the disease.

Many countries, including the US, China, France and India, have started trials of the treatment.

Reuters this month reported a Chinese study of ten patients with severe cases who improved significantly, compared to similar patients who did not receive the treatment.

Similar plasma treatments have been used against other diseases, including measles, chickenpox and the 1918 influenza.

Egypt’s health ministry has also changed two of the drugs in its coronavirus treatment protocols, sources at the health ministry told Shorouk News on Sunday.

The ministry replaced chloroquine phosphate with chloroquine magnesium, as the former has caused side effects, and replaced the antibiotic used in the treatment with a stronger one.

Higher Education and Scientific Research Minister Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar announced in April that Egypt had received samples of the Japanese anti-viral flu drug Avigan to test as a possible COVID-19 treatment.

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