The condition of Dr. Samirul Islam Babu, under treatment at Chattogram Medical Collage Hospital CMCH after being infected with COVID-19, is improving following plasma therapy. Doctors now plan to apply the therapy to him for the second time.
Meanwhile, top officials of the Health Department of Chattogram division have been infected with the coronavirus, raising concerns among doctors and medical staff. According to BMA sources, 42 doctors have already been infected.
The condition of Dr. Samirul, a renowned orthopedic surgeon in Chattogram, and also a professor of Chattogram Medical College became serious after he had been diagnosed with coronavirus. He was being treated in a cabin of CMCH. Last Tuesday afternoon, he was given plasma with Blood group AB Positive, which is considered to be effective in the treatment of patients with COVID-19.
Dr, Aniruddha Gosh, Professor of Medicine in CMC told this reporter that although Samirul Islam Babu's condition is still critical, it is not deteriorating. In addition to plasma therapy, he is undergoing all-out treatment. It is not sure at this time, which treatment will cure him, Gosh added.
"We are intensively examining the actual condition of his body,” said Dr. Aniruddha, "We are preparing to give him plasma therapy for the second time within Friday as we have got a donor."
Plasma is the liquid portion of blood that remains when all red and white blood cells and platelets have been removed. It was over a hundred years ago that Emil Behring was awarded the first Nobel Prize for physiology and medicine for his work demonstrating that plasma could be used to treat diphtheria.
The key component of plasma for treating infections is antibodies. Antibodies are Y-shaped proteins that are highly specific for whichever infection a person has previously encountered. They are produced in vast quantities by B cells of our immune system in order to bind to the invading virus and then target it for destruction.
A CMC source said, apart from plasma therapy, Dr. Samirul Islam Babu has been given various other treatments. Remdesivir, a touted remedy for coronavirus infection, and other sophisticated and costly medicines are also being administered to him.
Remdesivir is a broad-spectrum antiviral medication developed by the biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences in the USA. As of 2020, Remdesivir is being tested as a specific treatment for COVID-19, and has been authorized for emergency use in the U.S. and approved for use in Japan for people with severe symptoms
Dr. Faisal Iqbal, General Secretary of Bangladesh Medical Association of Chattogram Chapter said, some people after recovering from coronavirus infection are ready to give plasma to Dr. Samirul. Earlier, 250 ml of plasma was given for the first therapy. The second time, the same amount of plasma will be given.
Apart from Samirul, at least 42 doctors in Chattogram have been infected with COVID -19 including Dr, Hasan Shariar Kabir Director of health department Chattogram division, Dr. Shakil Ahamed, lab in charge of Bangladesh Infectious and Tropical Diseases BITID, who are top officials of the management of Coronavirus pandemic in Chattogram division.
Dr. Shakil Ahamed said he may have been infected in the BITID outdoor corner where dozens of infected people ad come for treatment.
Several times we asked the authorities to set up perfect outdoor management for such kind of patients who can transmit the virus to others easily. At least three nurses and two other staff members of BITID are also infected now, he added.
Coronavirus infection of Hasan Shahriar Kabir, Director of the Divisional Health Office is expected to affect the health system as he had had meetings with many, most of them doctors, as well as Mayor AJM Nasir Uddin of Chattogram City Corporation in recent times. Many doctors are testing for the virus on hearing of the situation of the Divisional Health Director.
“I was also at a meeting with him last week, and as I feel sick with the Covid-19 symptoms, I have also sent samples for coronavirus test, said Dr. Faisal Iqbal.