Deputy minister: Iran conducting biggest plasma therapy project for coronavirus treatment

FNA – Iranian Deputy Health Minister for Treatment Qassem Jan Babayee said that the country has pioneered in the world by carrying out the largest number of plasma therapy tests on the coronavirus patients in the country.

“The largest number of studies on plasma therapy has been conducted in Iran. The first phase of the study was carried out on nearly 60 patients and we have received information about 150 other patients, and the biggest plasma therapy protocol in the world has possibly been conducted in Iran,” Jan Babayee told reporters via video conference on Wednesday.

He added that plasma therapy has shown good results in treating patients infected with COVID-19 virus, and said, “It is one of the low-price methods.”

“Our country has always stood among the pioneering states in the world in blood donation,” Jan Babayee said.

In relevant remarks on Tuesday, Head of the Coronavirus Scientific Committee Mostafa Ghanei said that the early results of plasma tests for coronavirus have been positive, adding that if the permission for ELISA test export is issued, other countries will be able to use the tests, too.

Also, last week, Managing-Director of the Iranian Blood Transfusion Organization Peiman Eshqi declared plans to kick off a project to collect blood plasma of volunteers who have recovered from coronavirus infection to be injected into the body of patients still struggling with the disease.

“The project will start concurrently in 14 provinces on April 20. People who have been treated at least one month ago will participate in the project,” Eshqi said.

He noted that plasma donation and partnership in the project is on a fully voluntary basis, adding that the volunteers will be visited by physicians and undergo some preliminary tests to make sure about their right conditions to donate plasma.

Eshqi said that plasma therapy has shown good results in most countries which have been engaged in the fight against the coronavirus and treating patients.

Earlier this month, a senior Iranian medical official said that plasma therapy used in a number of hospitals across the country has shown 50% better results than other methods used to treat patients infected with COVID-19 virus.

“The project (plasma therapy) started in Iran in March and has continued until now. The main base to implement the project is Baqiyatallah hospital (in Tehran which works under the IRGC supervision) and the Blood Transfusion Organization has also cooperated well in implementing the project,” Head of the Pharmacy College of Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences Abdol Majid Cheraq Ali told FNA.

He added that 150 coronavirus patients have been treated so far through the application of plasma therapy method at Baqiyatallah hospital.

“Our primary information shows that this treatment method has been 50% more effective than others,” Charaq Ali said.