BEIJING, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- China has offered convalescent plasma therapy for 245 COVID-19 patients by Friday, and 91 cases have shown improvement in clinical indicators and symptoms, a health official said Friday.
Up to 544 doses of plasma from convalescent COVID-19 patients have been collected across the country for treatment, said Guo Yanhong, an official with the National Health Commission (NHC) at a press conference Friday.
The plasma therapy has proved safe and effective, Guo added.
Neutralizing antibodies against the novel coronavirus have been identified in the plasma of convalescent patients, said Wang Guiqiang, director of the infectious disease department of Peking University First Hospital.
Wang also called for the test of antibodies ahead of the plasma donation to ensure the effectiveness of the treatment.
China has established expert task forces at the provincial and national levels to analyze and improve the use of plasma therapy, Guo said, adding the NHC is working with other authorities to motivate more recovered patients to donate plasma.
The first dose of convalescent plasma from a COVID-19 patient was collected on Feb. 1 and the first severely ill patient received the treatment at a hospital in Wuhan, capital of virus-hit Hubei Province, on Feb. 9.