By Staff Reporter
About 4,000 recovered Covid-19 patients from South Korean-based Shincheonji Church of Jesus will voluntarily donate their blood(convalescent plasma), for use in the research and development of a new therapy that could reduce deaths related to the illness.
In a press statement sent to Caprivi Vision, ibali PR & Communications echoed sentiments that in a recent scientific research study confirmed that antibodies found in the blood of recovered Covid-19 patients would help fight and eliminate the coronavirus disease.
According to a pilot study conducted at three hospitals in China recently found that the immune antibodies harvested from recovered patients appeared to shorten the duration of symptoms, speed up recovery and improve oxygen levels in those infected.
Researchers are hoping that the blood of recovered patients can be used to treat the critically ill and that it may curb current death rates. To progress this research and develop the treatment, scientists need the blood of individuals who have healed but battled to find willing donors. A previous trial was called off due to low participation.
To aid in the global search for a safe and effective treatment for Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, Shincheonji Church has urged its members to become donors, with roughly 4,000 are expected to give 500ml of blood.
However, Mr. Man Hee Lee, leader of Shincheonji Church who is an advocate for world peace, personally advised recovered congregants to donate their plasma for the general good of humanity. “As Jesus sacrificed himself with his blood for life, we hope that the blood of people can bring positive effects to achieve a world of peace for future generations,” he said.
After discussions with South Korean health authorities which highlighted the need for resources to progress treatment research, the church decided to create a plan for the donation. “Some of the recovered members have already donated individually, feeling thankful for the assistance from the government and medical teams,” a Shincheonji representative said. “They expressed their willingness to make this contribution to society.”
There is currently no vaccine or drug proven to be widely effective in limiting the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, though various nations are researching treatment options. A breakthrough in the search for a cure from South Korea would help to lower the mortality rate in Southern Africa, and to contain the economic damage suffered from lockdown measures.
African nations have mostly reported lower infections and more slowly than their global counterparts, meaning the full impact of the virus on the continent remains to be seen. With vulnerable healthcare systems throughout the region the discovery of an effective treatment would be lifesaving.
Meanwhile, Madagascar’s vaccine in Southern Africa is not yet declared to be effective by World Health Organisation though clinical trials are underway.
The church is merely supporting research by donating blood/convalescent plasma free of charge which is being used in the hopes to find a treatment and cure quickly. Up to now convalescent plasma treatment has been quite effective in helping speed up the recovery process of those infected who are in intensive care. If a safe vaccine is found in Madagascar, or anywhere else in the world, Shincheonji is welcome to accept it.
Reuters reported that the City of Daegu where most of the church infections were centred has filed a civil lawsuit against the church on Monday, seeking 100 billion won ($82.75 million) in damages.
Sofar, South Korea has reported 282 deaths from COVID-19, with 11,613 recoveries and 12,850 active cases