Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday launched Project Platina, claimed to be the world’s largest convalescent plasma therapy trial-cum-treatment centre for COVID-19 patients, at Nagpur’s government medical college.
Mr. Thackeray had on Sunday said that Maharashtra was using plasma therapy effectively to cure patients affected with COVID-19 and had even appealed to the recovered patients to donate their plasma for the treatment of others.
“Convalescent plasma therapy is emerging as one of the most important methods in the treatment of severe COVID-19 patients, in the absence of definite treatment or drugs. This is the world’s largest trial-cum-treatment project, which will benefit 500 lives of critically ill COVID-19 patients in Maharashtra,” said Mr. Thackeray, who inaugurated the centre via videoconferencing. He also inaugurated four other services — plasma donation, plasma bank, plasma trial, and emergency authorisation — at the college.
The trial will be carried out in 17 medical colleges under the State Medical Education Department and four medical colleges under the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
The CM has approved ₹16.65 crore for this project from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. The project reached the inaugural stage in around 21 days.
All critical patients will receive two doses of 200 ml of convalescent plasma. The plasma of recovered COVID-19 patients contains antibodies thereby fighting infection and helping critically ill patients recover.
“The entire treatment will be free of cost to all the patients of Maharashtra admitted to the above centre. The donors are available in large numbers and have no weakness whatsoever after plasma donation as red blood cell count returns to the patients (Do you mean patients or donors?),” he said.
The CM said the Platina trial will be the world’s largest trial and hence will give robust data on the role of convalescent plasma in treatment of COVID-19 patients, thereby helping governments to issue guidelines in the management of the pandemic. “This trial will help formulate definite treatment guidelines for the entire country in managing serious COVID-19 patients.”