COVID-19: 22 packs of plasma ready to be used

COVID-19: 22 packs of plasma ready to be used

PUTRAJAYA, May 17 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) has received a total of 22 packs of plasma donated by nine patients for research purposes, said Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said, from the nine patients, three of them had donated twice in which the plasma would be used only if required.

“So far we have not use it… The 22 packs of plasma are available in our set up, if there is a need then we will use the plasma. The only thing is when to use this… especially for patients with poor immune response.

“The plasma is from patients who have been infected before and they have high antibody response. So that’s the reason why I think we can actually use the plasma if it’s indicated,” he said during the daily press conference here today.

He said, the ministry currently has another 10 patients who are willing to donate their plasma.

“But we will screen them before we proceed to take the plasma and then to use the plasma to treat other patients. So far I think the response is good,” he added.

Asked on the effectiveness of anti-viral medicine Remdesivir, he said it is used to treat category 4 and 5 patients and so far its usage has not posed any problems.

“We have started with the first patient in Sungai Buloh Hospital…the dosage is for more than two weeks but we are certain it is a method for treatment but we are also prescribing other medication,” he said.

In another development, Dr Noor Hisham said the Health Ministry had screened 950 individuals covering MPs and parliament employees who will be present and on duty during the one-day parliamentary sitting tomorrow.

“From 960 individuals expected to be involved in the meeting tomorrow, 950 have been tested and all of them showed negative results.

“Ten more (individuals) who were not screened comprised eight parliament staff who were absent for the test and two MPs who are undergoing quarantine for having close contact with a positive COVID-19 patient,” he said.

 Meanwhile, when asked whether the people are encouraged to wear face shield following reports that COVID-19 virus can enter the body through the eye, he said what is important is to maintain good hygiene and practise social distancing.

“Virus can enter our body if we rub our eyes or get infected from the contaminated hand or touching our face and so on …in the public we should wear face mask and wash our hands before touching eyes and face,” he said.