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Recoveries more than active COVID-19 patients

22 Jun 2020 By SHADDAD AL MUSALMY

More than 50 per cent of COVID-19 patients in Oman have been cured or were discharged from hospitals across the country, indicating an improving recovery rate in the country. As of Monday, as many as 16,408 patients have been cured since the outbreak. 

In the last fortnight, the rate of recovery from the virus has been good, and one of the reasons for a positive growth is that Oman has reduced the post-recovery period to 10 days from earlier 14. So far, Oman has reported 31,076 COVID-19 cases, including 137 casualties, showing a recovery of 52.79 per cent and leaving the number of active cases as14,531. 

As of Monday, the Ministry of Health (MoH) said that the total number of patients admitted in hospitals was 407 while 100 patients were in ICU. And since there is no one medication for the disease, many options are used, including convalescent plasma therapy – an experimental treatment to help patients whose bodies are not producing sufficient antibodies to fight the virus. 

H E Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Sa’eedi, Minister of Health, said that a good number of people have been treated with convalescent plasma therapy and has been calling plasma donors from among those who have recovered to donate. “A good number of people have been treated with plasma and their condition is improving,” he said. 

According to studies, people who have recovered from COVID-19 develop a natural defence to the disease in their blood (antibodies) and plasma from recovered patients, which contains COVID-19 antibodies, can be used to make hyperimmune immunoglobulin. 

Meanwhile, the Department of Blood Banks Services (DBBS) clarified about the procedures and conditions before donating plasma. “The patient must wait for more than 14 days after being symptom-free and also wait until the end of his quarantine period in order to be able to donate plasma. The donor should meet the conditions for donating blood (such as weight, age 18-60 years, etc.),” DBBS said. 

DBBS confirmed that plasma donation differs from blood donation, as it is done by a device that draws and separates the blood. 

“This process takes 40-60 minutes. The donor can donate plasma once every seven days. There are a number of donors who’ve recovered from COVID-19 and can donate plasma more than once,” it said. 
(The department welcomes any inquiries about donating plasma through WhatsApp service 94555648 or call 24591255.) 

Barring Monday’s new cases, the infection curve’s upward movement has been slow in the past few days thanks to restrictive measures in place. H E Dr Mohammed bin Saif al Hosni, undersecretary for Health Affairs at the Ministry of Health, said that the epidemiological situation in the country is considered to be normal. “Social distancing is the only way to prevent infection of the disease, at least in the short term,” he said. 
 

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