US President Donald Trump speak on Covid-19 treatment
US President Donald Trump said last week the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued authorization for the emergency use of convalescent plasma for Covid-19 treatment.
The FDA determined that it is reasonable to believe that convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients may lessen the severity or even shorten the length of COVID-19 related illness in some hospitalized patients.
Unfortunately the research and development of convalescent treatment has been slow in coming due to the lack of donors since the plasma must come from recovered patients. In the midst of much needed plasma donations to further the development for a treatment for COVID-19, 628 recovered patients from Shincheonji Church, led by the chairman of HWPL, Mr Manhee Lee, donated their plasma during July. They are now receiving positive attention for a second round of donations.
At the completion of the second round of donations 1,700 Shincheonji congregants will have participated.
The church believes that their donation in the form of much sought after plasma would benefit research and treatment of their fellow South Korean countrymen, but also the development of an effective treatment for humankind globally, especially those suffering from the virus in Southern Africa.
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Shincheonji Church Runs Second Plasma Donation Drive to Aid Effort for Covid-19 Cure
Over 1,500 Shincheonji Church of Jesus members have started donating blood plasma for research purposes after recovering from Covid-19, as the organization bolsters its efforts to help contain the virus.
Donors from the church in South Korean city Daegu started undergoing the process on August 27 and will continue until September 4. This is the second round of donations by the church’s members and comes as South Korea faces a fresh spike in cases. US President Donald Trump said last week the Food and Drug Administration issued authorization for the emergency use of convalescent plasma for Covid-19 treatment.
In Korea, health authorities approached Shincheonji, which has over 300,000 members globally, asking for further plasma donations for the development of a vaccine and use in clinical trials. Roughly 4,000 of its members were infected earlier this year, with Daegu being the hardest hit. While most recovered from the virus, the congregation suffered 11 deaths.
The Korea Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (KCDC) and Shincheonji expect 1,700 members to have made donations by the end of this week. Research and development of the convalescent plasma treatment is underway by the country’s National Institute of Health under the Ministry of Health and Welfare. The government entities are also working with Green Cross Pharma, a biotechnology company near Seoul.
Deputy Director of the KCDC Kwon Jun-wook has thanked the church for its contribution. Among the challenges in researching the effectiveness of convalescent plasma treatment is the limited supply from donors, who must be fully recovered from the virus.
“We express our gratitude to the people who participated in donating plasma willingly to save other patients after recovery,” Kwon said.
Shincheonji Chairman Lee Man Hee encouraged the church’s members to do all they can to help the search for an effective treatment.
“Let us lead the effort in plasma donation so that the blood (plasma) of the congregation members can be used for overcoming Covid-19 for the citizens and the country,” he said in a letter to the members on August 25.