Russia has suffered a record 57 coronavirus deaths in a day as well as 5,236 new cases – but one sick patient has revealed how he ‘woke up a new man’ after receiving blood plasma from a Covid-19 survivor.
Moscow is offering cash to recovered patients who donate blood, hoping that they will have developed antibodies which can help other people fight off the disease.
One recipient, Alexander Kutuzov, said he left hospital ‘healthy and optimistic’ after a plasma transfusion in Moscow.
The UK is trialling a similar scheme and the NHS has asked survivors to donate their plasma for tests.
This graph shows the daily number of coronavirus deaths in Russia, which reached a new peak of 57 today, bringing the total to 513
This graph shows the daily number of cases in Russia. Today’s figure of 5,236 new infections brings the country’s total to 57,999
Russian coronavirus patient Alexander Kutuzov, pictured with hospital workers in protective gear, said he left hospital a ‘new man’ after a blood plasma transfusion in Moscow
The latest deaths bring Russia’s death toll to 513, amid warnings that the outbreak may not peak for several more weeks.
Russian;s coronavirus crisis response centre said the 5,236 new cases had brought the overall tally to 57,999.
Moscow is in near-total lockdown but the capital still accounts for 55 per cent of the country’s cases.
Only 15 per cent of new hospital patients are aged over 65 in Moscow, while more than half are aged 45 or under.
Vladimir Putin has demanded a major boost to mask production due to the crisis, hoping to make 7.5million masks per day ‘in the near future’.
Russia has received 1.7million hazmat suits and is producing 20,000 a day by itself, the president said.
‘In addition, two million protective suits have been brought from China, and this will continue,’ he said.
Health officials also want to ramp up plasma donations in the hope that the transfusions can improve recovery chances.
Alexander Kutuzov said he returned home ‘healthy and optimistic’ after receiving blood plasma from a patient who had already recovered from coronavirus
One recipient, 49-year-old business coach Alexander Kutuzov, said: ‘I am ashamed to say but I refused the first transfusion offer.
‘I had this stupid fear of catching HIV or hepatitis. But doctors assured me this was impossible, that the blood was checked.
‘I agreed and straight after the first procedure I woke up a new man. My fever disappeared, it became easier to breathe.
‘Computer imagery of my lungs showed positive dynamics.’
After seeing another patient leaving hospital in a body bag, he said: ‘We contributed to different sets of statistics. And I realised how lucky I am.’
Treated at Sklifosovsky Research Institute in Moscow, he is one of three patients in the capital ‘cured’ after receiving blood plasma.
He ‘begged’ people to take coronavirus seriously and ‘stay home’, reported Komsomolskaya Pravda.
Moscow is offering cash incentives to recovered coronavirus patients to donate blood plasma, offering £54 for a maximum 600 millilitres per person.
‘I have already done a blood test for antibodies and I very much hope I will be able to help other patients by becoming a donor,’ Kutuzov said.
In Britain, the NHS Blood and Transplant Service is appealing to recovered patients to donate plasma which may contain antibodies.
For now, donations will be used in clinical trials but medics hope they could eventually be used to treat real-life patients.
Scientists in China who conducted a preliminary study said no serious adverse reactions were observed after convalescent plasma transfusion.
However, the WHO has cautioned that it remains uncertain to what extent people are immune from coronavirus after suffering it once.