The Andhra Pradesh government is all set to begin convalescent plasma therapy to treat COVID-19 patients at Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences (SVIMS) in Tirupati as it has received the approval of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
SVIMS is the first institute in the state to get the ICMR's nod. The Kurnool Government General Hospital (GGH) had also expressed its interest but the Centre has approved the SVIMS' request.
Stating that the government had already collected plasma from patients who had recovered from the coronavirus, Special Chief Secretary KS Jawahar Reddy said in a press release, that this could drastically shorten the duration of treatment for those contracted COVID-19.
Stating that it has been used to treat different diseases in the past like H1N1, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Jawahar said that this would aid the state in its fight against the novel coronavirus.
As part of the procedure, the plasma of recovered patients, which contains antibodies to fight the virus, is first drawn. The antibodies are later infused into sick individuals, to help their immune system in fighting the disease.
Meanwhile, a total of 48 new coronavirus cases were reported in the state on Tuesday, which took the total tally to 2,719. With one death reported from East Godavari district, the death toll in the state touched 57.
The active cases in Andhra Pradesh now stands at 759. With 55 people being discharged on Tuesday after recovery, the total number of patients in the state who have fought off the virus stands at 1,903.
The state nodal officer reported that a relatively low number of positive cases were found with travel history to the Koyambedu market in Chennai. Only four such cases were reported in Chittoor district.
Even as the state saw a decline in cases reported from the Koyambedu market, there has been a rise in corona cases among foreign returnees to the state over the past few days.
On Tuesday, authorities reported that 44 returnees from Kuwait, 3 from Abu Dhabi and 2 from Qatar have tested positive till date.
Meanwhile, the cumulative tally of corona cases among returnees from other states remained static at 153. However, the active cases tally fell to 47 from 117, as 70 persons who came from Maharashtra were cured and discharged.
The state's average in terms of tests per million population stands at 6,043.
Watch: How plasma therapy is used to treat COVID-19