The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has helped localise Egypt’s drug industry, and the country is now able to produce about 95% of its drug requirements, according to Minister of Health Hala Zayed.
Zayed said Egypt’s Scientific Committee to Combat the Coronavirus has set specific regulations for donating blood plasma from patients who have recovered from the virus to treat active cases.
The minister added that blood plasma from each donor can help treat as many as 10 critical cases. She also said during an interview with private TV station. Extra News, on Monday, that this sort of treatment relies on the presence of antibodies that help critical cases to heal and recover.
“Plasma is not used as a treatment for simple and medium cases, and also for not all critical cases, but some critical and pre-critical cases before placing them on a ventilator,” she said.
On Tuesday, Egypt reported 1,385 new coronavirus cases, and 35 new fatalities. The new figures raise the country’s total number of confirmed cases to 36,829 cases, and the total number of fatalities to 1,306 deaths. A total of 9,786 cases have recovered and have been discharged from hospital quarantine facilities.
Zayed noted that there were critical cases in intensive care units whose health condition deteriorated requiring their transfer to ventilators. They have, however, recovered after being injected with plasma from patients recovering from the virus.
She pointed out that Egypt has participated in a global study of 100 countries, according to the requirements of the World Health Organization (WHO), and the results are identical and successful.
In Egypt, the experiment was conducted by a research team at the National Blood Transfusion Services. It came off the back of an announcement by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that using plasma for patients recovering from the virus could be used in the treatment of active critical coronavirus cases.
Plasma reportedly contains coronavirus antibodies, with recent research evidence in several countries worldwide pointing to the plasma helping improve the conditions of active patients.
Donors should be between 18 and 60 years of age, and weigh at least 50kg, according to the Ministry of Health’s regulations. Donors are also required to provide proof of a positive PCR test for the virus, and proof of two negative tests. The plasma donation should a 14 days after the last negative test, with no symptoms of the virus present.