Doctors said the patient delayed treatment even after detecting symptoms thinking that since he had no travel history he could not have contracted the virus Credit: Representational image

New Delhi: A 53-year-old COVID-19 patient, who was the first from Mumbai in Maharashtra to undergo the convalescent plasma therapy, died on Wednesday night, said reports.

The patient tested positive for COVID-19 after a swab test report and was then admitted to Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai on April 20. But due to the delay in detection, the patient had already developed acute respiratory syndrome. According to the doctors of the hospital, the patient delayed his treatment despite having symptoms of sore throat, fever, and dry cough thinking that since he had no travel history he had no chance of contracting the disease.

The 53-year-old was immediately shifted to ICU and was on ventilation. After procuring the approval from Indian Council of Medicine Research (ICMR) on April 25, he was administered plasma therapy as a last resort, said reports.

In convalescent plasma therapy, the antibodies of a person who has recovered from the virus are taken and transfused into a sick person (having the virus) to help boost the person’s immune system. The patient was transfused one dosage (200 ml) of plasma from a recovered patient. This even helped improve the oxygen intake in his body but from the early morning of April 27 his condition started deteriorating. After that, he developed infections and was kept on a higher dosage of antibiotics. He succumbed to death on Wednesday night.

The health ministry had categorically said on Tuesday that convalescent plasma therapy is still in trial and is not an approved treatment for COVID-19 patients. However, in the absence of any other alternatives, several countries including India is looking at it as a possible treatment.

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