COVID Watch | 21st May 2020


Plasma Therapy Show Encouraging Progress

Clinical trials for plasma therapy at the National Institute of Blood Diseases (NIBD) in Karachi show promise with an initial 80% recovery rate. Patients at various other hospitals in Sindh have also reportedly shown good progress in recovery after receiving plasma therapy. Experts expressed hope that the procedure may be an excellent treatment in the absence of a vaccine.

Rising Cases In Poor Nations Worries WHO

Executive Director of the World Health Organization’s Health Emergency Program, Dr. Mike Ryan, expressed his concern over the surge in COVID-19 cases in low and middle-income nations. A worrying 106,000 new global cases were recorded in the past 24 hours as the world tally quickly approaches 5 million infections to date. The aggressive spread of the contagion indicates that the war against COVID-19 is far from over, the WHO posited.

Asymptomatic Patients Can End Isolation Sooner

Asymptomatic patients or patients with mild symptoms can end their home isolation period 11 days after testing positive, say officials, and experts. Further, people who isolated themselves but did not test positive after falling ill following contact with a COVID-19 patient may also end their isolation period 11 days after testing negative provided they did not exhibit any symptoms in the past 3 days. According to experts, asymptomatic patients are not considered infectious or contagious after 11 days have passed since testing.

Sindh Cases Continue To Surge Unabated

1,017 new cases emerged in Sindh in the past 24 hours while 17 people, including five women, succumbed to the virus on Wednesday, May 20. Sindh has considerably raised its daily testing capacity to nearly 6,000 and conducted 6,164 tests on Wednesday. So far, 137,540 total tests have been carried out in the of which 18,964 emerged COVID-19 positive.

Telehealth Service Launched

Pakistan has launched a free telehealth WhatsApp service where citizens can seek COVID-19 related medical advice from volunteer doctors in the country and abroad. The telehealth service will be useful for Pakistanis unable to travel to visit doctors during the pandemic.