MANILA - Sen. Sonny Angara on Sunday donated blood plasma for a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patient after he recuperated from the disease last week.
In the absence of a COVID-19 cure, some hospitals have been using convalescent plasma therapy - or the transfer of blood from those who recovered to those who are still battling the disease - to see if survivors' antibodies can help patients overcome the virus.
"Gave my plasma and it went straight to a hospital in Quezon City to a man on a ventilator - a severe case of COVID-19," Angara said in an Instagram post.
"My wonderful doctors say it could save his life as the antibodies of survivors in past viruses have done, but right now there is just an informal network of hospitals speaking and exchanging notes as to the survivors giving their plasma," he said.
Angara said he plans to donate more blood after 2 weeks since each COVID-19 survivor is only allowed to give plasma every 14 days.
"Please pass on to any survivor — they can save lives as we speak!" the senator said.
"Please tell any survivors you know. There is no stigma. They can save lives," he said.
Angara also urged the Department of Health and local government units to "exchange data" on COVID-19 survivors so that they "can help other fight this virus."
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, who also recuperated from COVID-19, earlier said he plans to donate his plasma to coronavirus patients.
The Philippine General Hospital earlier said it screened some 65 COVID-19 survivors to see if they were fit to donate blood for coronavirus patients.
As of April 12, at least 4,648 patients in the Philippines have contracted COVID-19, with 297 deaths and 197 recoveries.