Telangana is waiting for the nod from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to go ahead with its proposal to treat COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma therapy.
State Health Minister Eatala Rajender told reporters on Thursday that the government has written to ICMR, seeking its approval for using the plasma from the blood of treated patients to treat those tested positive.
He said that under this therapy, blood is collected from patients who have recovered from COVID-19, plasma is separated from it and then administered to patients. "We have sought permission from ICMR," he said.
Rajender said that the ICMR could recommend the convalescent plasma therapy based on its research on the advantages and disadvantages, accuracy and other aspects of this treatment.
A seven-member team of doctors is said to be coordinating with the ethical committee of ICMR in this regard.
Meanwhile, the state government is also ramping up its testing capabilities. Stating that so far 10,000 tests were conducted in the state, the Health Minister said that seven labs currently conducting the tests would soon double their capacity. In addition to this, two more labs in Hyderabad were permitted to conduct the tests.
An automatic machine lab will become operational in three weeks and this would help in conducting 5000 tests every day, Eatala Rajender said.
He also said that separate wards for women and children were opened in Gandhi Hospital, where all COVID-19 positive patients are being treated.
A new hospital for COVID-19 patients built at Gachibowli stadium in Hyderabad with a capacity of 1,700 beds would become operational from April 20.
As of Thursday night, Telangana has reported 700 cases of COVID-19. A total of 18 people have died, while 186 have recovered in the state.