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Dr Shmasi brushes aside claims of manipulation in Nawaz’s platelet count


Dr Tahir Shamsi, the head of National Institute of Blood Diseases (NIBD), has rejected claims of ruling PTI leader Shahbaz Gill that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had manipulated his platelets count by maneuvering EDTA (Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) blood sampling.

Gill, who is also a PM’s aide on political communication, said in a tweet on Saturday that he believed from the very first day that the PML-N supremo did not fall ill and was healthy.

He also shared a link of a website, saying “see for yourself what ETDA does and how alleged fraud was attempted”.

His tweet came in the wake of renewed attempts by the ruling party to repatriate the ousted premier, who was allowed to fly to London on recommendations of a government medical board in November last year after his health deteriorated to a dangerous level.

PM’s accountability adviser Mirza Shahzad Akbar on Saturday claimed that the convicted former premier was allowed to leave the country subject to certain conditions but none of them had been met.

“He [Nawaz] was granted permission to leave the country for medical treatment, provided that he would return within a stipulated time period,” Akbar said at a news conference in Lahore.

The ailing politician was diagnosed with acute ITP, or immune thrombocytopenic purpura, a bleeding disorder in which the immune system destroys platelets.

Dr Shamsi while speaking to The Express Tribune on Sunday explained from a medical point of view that the tube which is used to collect blood sample contains anticoagulant known as EDTA, which prevents or reduces coagulation of blood.

He said EDTA tubes manufactured by a well-known company, Becton Dickinson, which are used in all authorised laboratories in Pakistan. “It uses 1.8% EDTA, which is in line with international standards,” he added.

The head of NIBD said even if it is assumed that the former premier’s platelet count was reduced artificially through EDTA, symptoms such as bruises on the body, bleeding gums and others shown in Nawaz are contrary to the claims of the PTI leader.

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