France begins Covid-19 plasma transfusion trials

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The trial started yesterday (Tuesday April 8).

It is supervised by Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP), Inserm health research organization, and blood authority the French Blood Establishment (EFS); and directed by transfusion specialist Eldad Hod at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) in New York.

This is the transfusion of plasma – the liquid part of the blood in which antibodies are found – from the blood of people recovered from Covid-19 to that of patients in the acute stage of the disease.

The trial concerns 200 people, 60 of whom are sick. Of these, 30 will receive plasma and 30 will receive placebo. The first participants started donating plasma yesterday.

The group said an initial assessment is expected in “two or three weeks”. Already, Eldad Hod said that each plasma donation could “save three or four lives”.

Containment continues

The trial comes after more than 10,328 people died in France from causes related to Covid-19. Since the beginning of March, 7,091 deaths have been recorded in hospitals, in addition to 3,237 in retirement homes.

In the past 24 hours, 607 people have died across the country – the highest number of deaths reported in a day since the start of the epidemic.

The spread of Covid-19 in France: confirmed cases / death in hospital / death in retirement homes

(GRAPHIC: LeMonde.fr / Source : Public Health France. Note: Since only severe cases are tested, the number of cases under-represents the reality of the epidemic.)

France began internment at noon on March 17, and the measures are expected to remain until April 15 at least, with a further extension appearing likely.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner has authorized local authorities to impose other constraints if they see fit, notably the city of Paris limiting jogging to hours from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Nice (Alpes-Maritimes, Provence-Alpes -Côte d’Azur) among those to impose a curfew and to say that he wants to make the wearing of the mask compulsory for the public.

Read more: Paris bans outdoor exercises from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The authorities of Béziers (Hérault, Occitanie) have removed all the benches in the city center, while the mayor of Sceaux (Hauts-de-Seine, Île-de-France) has issued a decree obliging people to cover their mouths and nose before leaving the house.

In his last daily update, the Director General of Health Jérôme Salomon said: “Talking about” deconfinement “today makes no sense. “

Professor Salomon has now announced a massive surge of tests in nursing homes for the aged.

French newspaper The world reported that “A source close to the head of state” said: “It would be premature to speak of a release date [confinement]. We must wait until the number of patients in intensive care decreases, which is not yet the case. The virus is far from disappearing. “

Hospitalizations by department (updated April 8)

(MENU: LeMonde.fr / Source : Public Health France)

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