Zafrullah takes plasma therapy for COVID-19, Hasina calls him

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2020-05-27 00:57:28 BdST


Zafrullah Chowdhury, the founder and trustee of the Gonoshasthaya Kendra, has undergone convalescent plasma therapy for coronavirus infection while Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina checked on his health.

He said he took 200 millilitre serum from a recovered COVID-19 patient on Tuesday afternoon.

“I am feeling well now,” he told over the phone.   

In plasma therapy, blood plasma from the recovered patients is transfused into current patients with the hope the freshly-made antibodies it contains will help fight the virus. Bangladesh has recently begun trialling the therapy.

Zafrullah, 79, also said he would not undergo RT-PCR test for coronavirus because the rapid testing kit developed by his organisation confirmed that he has been infected.

Bangladesh only allows RT-PCR testing system for coronavirus diagnosis. It is the most reliable testing system in the world to detect the novel coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2, which causes the respiratory illness COVID-19.

The authorities are conducting trials to check the effectiveness of the Gonoshasthaya kits, ‘GR COVID-19 Dot Blot’.

Zafrullah, a doctor by training, said he received kidney dialysis as well at his home in Dhaka, where he has isolated himself, on Tuesday. He has been taking dialysis at the Gonoshasthaya Nagar Hospital in the capital for a long time.    

He said his body temperature had increased slightly before getting normal again. The Gonoshasthaya founder has not developed other symptoms.

Besides Hasina, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia also enquired about his health, the freedom fighter said.

Zafrullah, a winner of the country’s highest civilian award Swadhinata Padak, has often been critical of the government, taking sides with the BNP.

He urged all to pray for him.