South Korean based religious group named Shincheonji Church of Jesus said that over 4,000 church members who recovered from COVID-19 are willing to donate their plasma for the development of a treatment.
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) has persisted into a “global pandemic,” countries are working on research to develop vaccines and treatments. As such, South Korea is also expected to speed up the development of a treatment for COVID-19.
South Korea has been conducting research on the development of a treatment through using plasma from the blood of cured patients. However, as this has been difficult due to the lack of donated blood, the donation of plasma of 4,000 Shincheonji church members who were cured from the infection is believed to be of great help in the development of a treatment.
Using the currently calculated market value of blood volume of COVID-19 cured patients in the United States, the plasma of 4,000 cured patients is worth about $83 billion to bio companies. The reason why the blood of the cured is so expensive is because of how difficult it is to find a donor. Countries are competitively trying to develop a treatment but because it is proving difficult to obtain enough blood, astronomical amounts are used to secure the needed amount.
“It is difficult to accelerate the development of a treatment for COVID-19 with only 200 recovered patients who expressed their will to donate blood. The massive donation from the recovered patients in the Shincheonji Church will solve the problem of the lack of blood for research,” said an official from Green Cross Pharma, a biopharmaceutical company in South Korea.
In the first quarter of this year, the rapid spread of the virus hit the church members in Daegu of South Korea, where the early signs of the crisis appeared with the controversy over the massive visitors from China before the infection of church members.
Mr. Man Hee Lee, founder of the Shincheonji Church, said that members of the church are advised to donate plasma voluntarily. “As Jesus sacrificed himself with his blood for life, we hope that the blood of people can bring positive effects on overcoming the current situation,” said Mr. Lee.