COVID-19 fatalities rise; India drops plasma therapy

New DelhiEdited By: Gravitas deskUpdated: May 19, 2021, 02:19 PM IST

Covid testing is increasing in India as the threat of Omicron variant looms over India. Photograph:(Reuters)

Story highlights

India's own study conducted eight months back had found no benefits of plasma therapy but India was still using it

It was a day of grim milestones on Tuesday as India has reported its highest number of deaths in a day even as the total pandemic caseload crossed 25 million.


India's COVID-19 cases is the second highest in the world, however, new cases continue to fall.

In the last 24 hours, over 260,000 new coronavirus cases were reported and as many as 199 districts in India have been reporting a dip in cases but in states like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu new infections are steadily rising.

The active cases have been falling. It dropped by more than 150,000 on Monday. India now has more than 3.3 million active cases with more than 400,000 people discharged which is the highest that India has reported so far.

However, the fatalities have not been falling with more than 4,300 people dieing in the last 24 hours which is the highest that India has ever reported.

Meanwhile, India dropped plasma therapy from its treatment protocol. The decision was taken by India's national task force which consisted of officials from the Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Gravitas had reported about plasma therapy last week and how it doesn't work, including the overwhelming scientific evidence against it. In fact, health experts had written a letter to India's principal scientific adviser about it.

India's own study conducted eight months back had found no benefits of plasma therapy but India was still using it, doctors were prescribing it and people were running from pillar to post to procure plasma for loved ones.

As the world struggles with vaccine shortages, the United States has finally decided to share some vaccines from its large stockpile. The US has been hoarding vaccines, however, amid mounting global pressure, President Joe Biden has relented.

The US is set to share 80 million doses. The earlier commitment was 60 million shots of AstraZeneca which hasn't been approved in the US but Washington has locked up a stockpile of 60 million shots.

Now, they will release it. The US says it will also share another 20 million doses from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson but it's not clear where these vaccines will be sent.