‘INFECT ME’

Report: Individuals voluntarily want Covid-19 for money but SPMC frowns on blood plasma as treatment

For the right price, some individuals are reportedly willing to get infected with Covid-19.

Reports have circulated that for a price of P80,000, some individuals are purposely infecting themselves with Covid-19 in order to sell their blood plasma once recovered. 

According to the reports, some rich individuals described as “Chinese” are approaching survivors of Covid-19 to ask for their blood plasma, which is believed potential to treat Covid-19. The blood plasma trade was reportedly at P80,000 per bag in Cebu City. 

Selling blood plasma is discouraged as it taints the culture of blood donation. 

The Department of Health (DOH) 7 condemned the sale of blood plasma to patients in Cebu where the illegal trade was first reported. 

But is blood plasma from a recovered Covid-19 patient a cure for the dreaded disease?

Dr. Marie Yvette Barez, infectious diseases specialist of Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), said the hospital is not recommending giving blood plasma to patients admitted due to Covid-19. 
Barez said there is no existing guidelines that endorse the use of the convalescent plasma against the virus.

“I am not aware of this if they are purposely infecting themselves because we do not get plasma from the patients that are being admitted because there is no existing guidelines that endorses the use of the convalescent plasma. We still need systematic documentation about this and analysis of anecdotal experiences. I haven’t heard one here in Davao as we have no program giving plasma to the patients,” she said. 

Meanwhile, Dr. Lenny Rivera, assistant director of the Department of Health 11 (DOH 11), said there are more active cases in Davao City compared to other provinces in Davao Region. As of July 29, 2020: Davao City has 246 active cases, 73 cases in Davao del Norte, 189 cases in Davao del Sur, 49 cases in Davao de Oro, 57 in Davao Oriental, and 26 in Davao Occidental.

According to her, 78 percent of these active cases are asymptomatic.

She said there are a total of 33,606 specimens processed in the three accredited laboratories SPMC, Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC) and One World. 

“We are processing also other specimens coming from other regions,” she said.  

The total persons tested is around 26,180 and the total number of person who tested positive is 1,229.  

She also said there are a total of 19,982 returning OFWs and locally stranded individuals who arrived in Davao Region starting May 2020 where there are a total of 397 of ROFs and LSIs who tested positive and most of them are asymptomatic.