Due to rising Covid-19 infections, the demand for convalescent plasma is rising as well, since many countries permit plasma treatment for Covid-19. Convalescent plasma collected from a recovered donor may neutralise the Covid-19 virus on an infected patient, as the plasma may contain antibodies to the severe acute respiratory syndrome. Plasma is the yellowish liquid part of the blood which carries cells, proteins, electrolytes, carbon dioxide, and oxygen. There have been ongoing trials of using plasma to cure Covid-19 patients in many countries.
Recently, Covid-19 patients have been surging worldwide due to the rapid spread of coronavirus variants. Bangladesh is no exception. On April 8, 2021, a report in The Daily Star published data from Icddr'b showing that the recent increase in Covid-19 transmission in Dhaka was due to the South African variant of SARS-CoV-2. Worryingly, researchers have also reported that the AstraZeneca vaccine was found to be not as effective against the South African variant (New York Times, February 7, 2021). Thus, the current findings of Icddr'b came as a shock to public health professionals in Bangladesh. We need to improvise if we are to tackle this challenge.