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Jakarta Post

Jakarta to provide hospitals with COVID-19 survivors’ plasma to treat patients

  • Rizki Fachriansyah
    Rizki Fachriansyah

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, April 16, 2020   /   09:37 am
Jakarta to provide hospitals with COVID-19 survivors’ plasma to treat patients Microbiologist Milagros Sola processes COVID-19 tests in a lab at the Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington, United States, on April 14. (REUTERS/David Ryder)

The Jakarta administration is cooperating with the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology and the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) to provide hospitals with supplies of convalescent plasma in the capital to help treat severe COVID-19 cases.

Eijkman Institute director Amin Soebandrio said the plasma, taken from the blood of donors who previously survived the disease, contained antibodies that would prove effective in neutralizing the coronavirus incubating within the patients.

The blood should be taken two to four weeks after the donor has recovered from COVID-19, said Amin.

“We intend to use the plasma on patients in critical conditions,” Amin said in a statement on Wednesday. “We expect the antibodies contained in the plasma […] to battle the virus within the bodies of sick patients.”

Read also: 'Superheroes': Coronavirus survivors donate plasma hoping to heal the sick

Convalescent plasma has proven effective in small studies for treating infectious diseases including Ebola and SARS.

He went on to say that the distribution of convalescent plasma would be handled by the PMI to ensure ethical and safe medical practices were followed. Furthermore, the PMI would also make sure the plasma was fully compatible with each patient to prevent any undesirable outcomes, he added.

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said he expected the collaboration with Eijkman and the PMI to significantly reduce the number of fatalities linked to COVID-19. He claimed that Jakarta had buried more than 1,000 people using burial procedures for deceased COVID-19 patients.

“I hope all of this will soon come to pass,” Anies said.

As of Wednesday, Jakarta remains the country’s outbreak epicenter with at least 2,474 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 242 deaths linked to the disease, out of a nationwide total of 5,136 cases and 469 fatalities.