Angara pushes for government-backed plasma treatment for coronavirus patients

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 16 2020 12:53 PM

Sen. Sonny Angara donated his blood plasma for treatment of patients with COVID-19 after his recovery from the disease. From Angara's Instagram account

MANILA - Sen. Sonny Angara on Thursday urged the national government to share its database of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients to help hospitals secure more convalescent plasma donations for treatment.

Angara, who recovered from COVID-19 earlier this month, has been campaigning for the use of convalescent plasma treatment in the absence of a cure for the coronavirus. The procedure requires the transfer of a COVID-19 survivor's blood plasma to patients who are battling the disease.

"The donation of plasma, dapat government-led 'yan (it should be government-led) because the information is with government agencies," Angara said in a statement.

The senator himself had donated his own plasma after recovery from COVID-19. 

"We should not cite any technicalities like privacy which prevents us because we can try to secure their consent naman and protect their privacy at the same time," he said.

Hospitals in the Philippines have been asking COVID-19 survivors to donate blood after similar procedures from the United States and South Korea yielded positive results.

The Department of Health will study the proposal, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III told Angara in a tweet.

"We will definitely study this in line with the current monitoring of the University of the Philippines Philippine General Hospital (UP PGH) plasma convalescent antibody therapy for application in various public hospitals," he said.

PGH has been screening COVID-19 survivors to see if they are fit to donate blood to other coronavirus patients, spokesperson Dr. Jonas Del Rosario earlier said.

Precautions were also made to ensure that the convalescent plasma therapy would not cause reinfection among recipient patients, he said.