Health workers take a blood sample for Covid-19 screening in Jakarta on April 20. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Indonesia Says Plasma Treatment Works in Covid-19 Patients


MAY 10, 2020

Jakarta. Plasma transfusions using the blood of Covid-19 survivors have delivered promising results in at least three patients in critical conditions, an Indonesian official has said.

Doni Monardo, the head of the National Covid-19 Task Force, said in an interview with Beritasatu TV that the new method has been used as treatment on several patients in critical conditions at the Gatot Soebroto Army Hospital, one of several hospitals in Jakarta who treated the country’s first Covid-19 patients in the wake of the outbreak.

“We have trialed various methods of possible treatment, including the use of [blood] serum. We collected blood from survivors and use it to treat patients in critical conditions. We have trialed this at the army’s central hospital,” Doni said in the TV’s Interview with Claudius Boekan program aired on Friday night.

“In doing so, we work together with several agencies, including the Eijkman Institute and [state-run pharmaceutical firm] Biofarma,” Doni said.

“This morning, I was informed by Brig. Gen. Agung [Hermawanto], the deputy head of the Army’s Medical Department, that three patients in critical conditions who received the serum have begun to recover,” he said.

“According to Brig. Gen. Agung, progress is being made. Those in critical conditions are getting better.”

He didn't tell how many Covid-19 patients who have received the treatment.

Indonesia is not the first country to explore Covid-19 survivors’ blood as possible treatment for patients with coronavirus. The United States and Britain have earlier announced the plan to implement such a method.

Plasma treatment is based on a theory that the antibody in Covid-19 survivors’ blood will increase the immune system of patients, helping them fight and defeat the disease.

Indonesia has 13,645 confirmed cases of Covid-19 as of Saturday, including 959 deaths. Around 2,600 patients have fully recovered from the disease.

The number of new cases increased by 533 on Saturday, the highest rise in a day since the first cases were confirmed on March 2.