COVID-19: Gulf-Wide Blood-Drive As GCC Starts Plasma Therapy

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Gulf countries over the past week launched campaigns calling on the public to donate blood to help health care professionals treat patients amid the coronavirus outbreak that has led to over 16,000 cases of infection and 109 deaths across the GCC countries alone.

Saudi Arabia launched several blood-drive campaigns in many of its regions including in Al-Jawf, Najran, Asir, Jazan, Abha, Khamis Mushait governorate, and Ahad Rufaidah governorate among others.

In Bahrain, the Ministry of Health said on Monday it will start clinical trials using convalescent plasma transfusion to combat the disease in currently infected patients. The trials will include 20 coronavirus cases in isolation and treatment centers.

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In the UAE, Dubai’s Health Authority (DHA) said on Sunday it will start this week treating critical coronavirus patients using plasma from recovered patients. The public has been urged to donate blood.

Dr. Naima Oumeziane, the medical director of Abu Dhabi Blood Bank, was quoted by local newspapers as saying “Because people are afraid of the virus, few people are coming forward to donate… We will go anywhere to collect blood but people are too scared to do so. Donating blood is a safe process. Please keep donating.”

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In Oman, healthy individuals have been urged to donate blood or blood platelets.

In Kuwait, the Health Minister asked those who have recovered from the COVID-19 to donate their blood so that doctors could use the plasma to treat currently infected patients

Qatar has not announced plans to use blood plasma for treatments.

Plasma is the liquid part of the blood that carries cells and proteins through the body. When taken from someone who has recovered from an illness, it contains antibodies that can fight said illness.

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