Covid-19 treatment trial kicks off in SA

The first patient hospitalised with Covid-19 has been enrolled in the PROTECT-Patient clinical trial.

This trial is focused on establishing whether transfusion with convalescent plasma improves the outcome of patients with moderate and severe Covid-19.

The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) in collaboration with the Western Cape Blood Service has collected convalescent plasma from patients who recovered from Covid-19 to assist in the trial.

The blood services thanked the 298 blood donors who donated their convalescent plasma and appealed to others who have recovered from Covid-19 to do the same.

Establishing whether convalescent plasma is a viable treatment for Covid-19 is an important part of developing an arsenal of treatment options in case South Africa has a second wave of infections before a safe and effective vaccine is widely available. Should the treatment prove effective, South Africa would be self-reliant in providing convalescent plasma treatment to patients in the public or private sector.

In addition, the systems developed during this project will ensure a rapid response should the country be faced with a similar crisis in the future.