Sunday, July 12, 2020 | ePaper

Planning to set up plasma bank: Zafrullah

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After developing a coronavirus test kit, the Gonoshasthaya Kendra now plans to set up a plasma bank to help the treatment of critical and elderly COVID-19 patients.
Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, the founder of Gonoshasthaya, told UNB on Friday that he has taken an initiative with some other doctors to set up the plasma bank at Gonoshasthaya Kendra.
"After getting infected with coronavirus, I'm lucky that I could receive plasma therapy and am now doing well. So, I feel other coronavirus patients, especially the critical and the elderly, should receive this magical therapy to
beat the deadly virus," Zafrullah said. He, however, said sufficient fund and equipment are necessary to execute his plan.
Zafrullah, a freedom fighter, tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday with the kit developed by Gonoshasthaya. He was administered with 200ml of O+ blood at Gonoshasthaya Kendra Nagar Hospital on Tuesday afternoon. He said he took the plasma therapy as per the advice of Dhaka Medical College Hospital's Prof Dr Mohiuddin Ahmed Khan.
Zafrullah said Dr Mohiuddin and Dhaka Shishu Hospital's Dr Harun are working with him to set up the plasma bank.
"If we get the fund, we'll be able to bring necessary equipment from abroad within a week on a special flight. If we can do it, I think we'll be able to save many lives," he said.
As many people are now recovering from the virus, he said it will be easy for them to collect plasma and donate it to others. Besides, the freedom fighter said he plan to provide low-cost treatment and Covid-19 tests at Gonoshasthaya Kendra.
He urged the government to take quick steps to approve Gonoshasthaya's testing kit so that patients can be easily detected and provided treatment.
Zafrullah underwent coronavirus test with the kit developed by Gonoshasthaya which found him to be positive. Four days later, a RT-PCR test at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) also found him positive for coronavirus.
He first underwent antigen test with the kit developed by the Gonoshasthaya Kendra on Sunday as he was suffering from fever and the result was positive. The Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder also got an antibody test using the Gonoshasthaya's kit on Tuesday, and got positive result.
On March 17, Gonoshasthaya announced development of a testing kit that can examine samples to detect COVID-19 within 15 minutes, but the kit is yet to be approved by the authorities concerned.
Gonoshasthaya Kendra recently submitted 200 samples of Rapid Dot Blot kits to the BSMMU authorities to conduct performance study. The results of the test are yet to be published.
Earlier on April 30, the DGDA gave Gonoshasthaya permission to get its Covid-19 rapid testing kits tested. The DGDA informed Gonoshasthaya that the performance study of the kits could be done either at the BSMMU or IEDCR. On May 2, the BSMMU authorities formed a six-member committee to conduct the performance study of the testing kits as the organisation approached the country's premier medical university.

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