Coronation Street star Charlie De Melo has revealed that he now denotes blood plasma after contracting Covid-19 last year.
The actor, who plays lawyer Imran Habeeb on the ITV soap, wrote on Instagram that he caught the virus in 2020, but remained free of symptoms. He is now taking part in an NHS initiative calling for people who have had the respiratory disease to donate plasma.
‘Despite my best (continuing) efforts, I had Covid-19 at some point last year. No idea when, where or how. I am extremely fortunate to not even have noticed,’ he wrote. ‘@givebloodnhs are looking for people who’ve had Covid-19 to donate their plasma to help treat those currently suffering with it.’
The blood plasma of a person who has recovered from coronavirus can contain antibodies that help fight infection. Hence donations now being used for scientific research into possible coronavirus treatments.
Commented De Melo: ‘If you’ve had a positive Covid or antibody test and you are able to donate blood, please do. You could well be saving somebody’s life. It’s easy, painless and the staff at Norfolk House in Manchester, where I donate, are absolute gems and will take very good care of you.’
In an attempt to ease the worries of those with reservations he added: ‘It’s a safe assumption that they’re all just as wonderful up and down the country). Plus, they give you Kit Kats and Squash and let’s be honest, you could do with a day out, eh?’
De Melo then revealed that he’d had the virus after taking an antibody test at a chemist’s out of curiosity while waiting for ‘something else entirely’. Of his experience, he said:
‘Had I not been wearing a mask the entire time I was “ill” I could’ve made someone, if not many, seriously ill. So do take all the precautions asked of you and more, even if you feel fine. It’s not for you, it’s for everyone else.’
Production on Coronation Street was recently halted for a fortnight in order to allow for script rewrites as a consequence of the pandemic. A spokesperson added that health and safety measures are also being reviewed but emphasised that there had been no recent cases of coronavirus on set.
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