Experts in Kerala will now test a therapy for coronavirus infection that uses plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients.
According to a report, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) gave its consent for the treatment protocol - 'convalescent plasma therapy' - proposed by a task force of doctors and scientists formed by the Kerala government.
With no vaccine in sight for the SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19, experts are looking at plasma therapy as a potential treatment for the deadly respiratory illness.
The use of plasma therapy in clinical trials for critically ill COVID-19 patients has been approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The FDA cautioned that the therapy, although promising, has not yet been shown to be safe and effective as a treatment for COVID-19, hence, more work is required to study the safety and efficacy of the therapy in clinical trials.
The therapy involves transfusing blood plasma from someone who has recovered from COVID-19 into people who are very sick with the virus or those at high risk of contracting the virus.
Convalescent plasma therapy has been around for more than 100 years and was used during the flu pandemic in 1918.
(with news agency inputs)