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Karnataka launches Mission COPE, inaugurates first plasma bank

plasma bank

To combat the unabated surge in COVID-19 cases, the Karnataka Government in association with Covid India Campaign and HCG Hospital in Bengaluru announced the launch of Mission COPE (Covid Plasma Endeavour). The state’s maiden plasma bank was inaugurated at HCG Hospital by the Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka C. N. Ashwathnarayan. Shri Tejasvi Surya, Member of Parliament, the Guest of Honour.

Covid India Campaign, under the aegis of ICATT Foundation, launched Mission COPE in order to promote plasma donation among patients who have recovered from COVID-19. Several celebrities and hospitals have pledged their support for this timely campaign. Currently, India has only 4 to 5 plasma banks; the first was launched in the national capital earlier this month.

Speaking at the launch, Dr Vishal Rao, Regional Director – Head & Neck Surgical Oncology, HCG Global said, “As India registers over 1.5 million coronavirus cases and we continue to see persistent spikes of the pandemic in Bengaluru, we need to strengthen our fight against the tenacious virus. Plasma therapy has shown encouraging results in clinical trial settings, especially in critical COVID-19 patients. We need more people who have recovered from the infection to donate plasma so that we can save innocent lives. This is the time for us, as members of the human race, to join forces and defeat the virus that has taken the world hostage.”

Also read: COVID-19 treatment: Soon, AIIMS to conduct clinical trial of plasma therapy

Dr Shalini Nalwad, Director, ICATT Foundation further added, “When the crisis is unprecedented, our response has to be unequalled. The current scenario – where we are up against a disease with no cure or vaccine yet – calls for key collaboration and conversations. Over the last few weeks, many doctors across India have come forward to counsel patients, who have recovered from COVID-19, to donate plasma under this campaign. Doctors, researchers and healthcare experts are doing their best to find solutions. However, they cannot do it alone. We all need to do our bit.”

Mission COPE campaign is headed by Dr Shalini Nalwad, ICATT Foundation Director and her fellow Founder Volunteer at Covid India Campaign, Swadeep Pillarisetti. Dr Vishal Rao, associate dean of HCG, heads the clinical trial for plasma therapy at HCG Hospital.

Plasma therapy

People who’ve recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies — proteins the body uses to fight off infections — to the disease in their blood. Plasma therapy is essentially about transferring convalescent plasma (blood from people who’ve recovered) to others battling the infection to boost their chances of recovery. The early results of clinical trials on convalescent plasma therapy in patients with COVID-19 has been promising.

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