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Matt Hancock urges people who have recovered from coronavirus to donate plasma

Health Secretary Matt Hancock donating Covid-19 antibodies in central London (Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street/Crown Copyright/PA)

People who have recovered from coronavirus should “step forward” and donate their blood plasma, the Health Secretary has said.

Matt Hancock made the appeal as he revealed he donated antibodies before leading the daily Downing Street press conference on Friday.

The Health Secretary fell ill with the disease and self-isolated in March, and participated in a research trial by donating blood in early April.

He told the daily briefing: “If you have had the virus, then you can help make a difference. Because by donating your plasma from your blood that has your antibodies in it, then you can help somebody who is currently suffering in hospital with coronavirus.

“I did this earlier today, I gave my antibodies, and the process is simple, it’s straightforward.

“If you have had coronavirus, if you go to the NHS blood and transplant website… then you too can donate your antibodies and help protect somebody who is currently in hospital with coronavirus.

“And I’d encourage anybody who can do that to step forward.”

Antibody-rich plasma can be transfused into people fighting coronavirus to help develop their own immune response.

The NHS believes high levels of antibodies are more likely to be found in recovered people who are male, over 35 or were ill enough with coronavirus to have needed hospital treatment.

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