COVID Watch | 16th December 2020

Dow University of Health Sciences researchers testing the efficacy of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy have noted 100% recovery of severe patients and 50%-60% recovery among critical patients during clinical trials. For more stories in the COVID-19 second wave, keep scrolling.


Pakistan to begin C-IVIG therapy research

Researchers at Karachi’s Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) have noted that all severe COVID-19 patients who had received intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy as part of a clinical trial to determine the efficacy of the treatment recovered completely. The IVIG is prepared from the plasma from recovered coronavirus patients, as their blood is rich with antibodies that when transferred to an infected person can help in fighting the disease.

The recovery rate among critical patients treated with IVIG therapy was between 50% to 60%. Hospitalisation for severe patients, which could take upwards of 20 days, was reduced to barely a week. If research continues, Pakistan may be the first country to introduce C-IVIG as an effective and valid treatment for COVID-19 patients amidst concerns over the availability of vaccines by 2021.

Poorer countries may receive vaccine much later than richer nations

Nine billion out of twelve billion vaccine doses expected to be produced in 2021 have already been reserved by developed nations, leaving but a scant three billion to go about for people in less developed nations, stated Head of Global Health at the World Economic Forum, Arnaud Bernaert.

Most of these vaccines have been produced in richer countries often with tax payers’ money, creating pressure on their respective governments to prioritise the health of their citizens. Moreover, the World Health Organization initiative to procure some two billion COVID-19 vaccines for poorer nations has yet to purchase even a fraction of the target amount due to lack of funds.

2,510 critical across country

2,510 COVID-19 patients are reportedly in a critical state as the condition of fifteen more worsened on Tuesday, December 15. Pakistan crossed 9,000 deaths as a total of 105 people succumbed to the disease, while 2,265 managed to recover however at a slowly declining recovery rate of 87.1%. 2,731 people were found to have contracted the virus in the past 24 hours, taking total active cases to 48,369.