Ministry testing if antibody-rich plasma can help treat Covid-19 patients

Annabelle Lee


CORONAVIRUS | The Health Ministry is testing if blood plasma obtained from healthy, recovered Covid-19 patients can be used to treat those with the virus.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah today thanked “two to three” patients who came forward to donate their blood for medical research.

“We are studying their blood plasma.

“If they have a high number of antibodies, there is a good chance for us to use their plasma to treat other patients,” he said during the ministry’s daily press briefing in Putrajaya.

Hisham explained that these donors were cleared of the virus and other diseases before their samples were used.

The research is being carried out by the ministry’s Institute for Medical Research (IMR).

Need better antigen test kits

Noor Hisham also shared that the ministry was looking to acquire more accurate antigen Covid-19 test kits after finding that those from China and South Korea were below par.

He said that the two kits previously received were unreliable with accuracy rates below 56 percent.

The concern with such kits, he explained, was the possibility of false-negative or false-positive results.

“We have been assured that next week we have another test kit coming from (South) Korea.

“So we are looking forward (to it), they promised us this is more than 80 percent accurate,” Hisham said.

Malaysia wants to expand its Covid-19 testing capability to 16,500 tests per day.

This is after mass testing proved effective in South Korea’s fight against the virus.

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