From Friday March 19th eligible volunteers from the city and surrounding areas will be able to donate a blood sample at a temporary, Covid-secure centre in the city. The unique GenOMICC Covid-19 Study analyses the genes of people who have had the virus to discover why some experienced no symptoms while others became extremely ill. The study is already contributing to the fight again Covid, with preliminary results helping identify possible new treatments.
However, for the study to continue to make progress and generate meaningful results, the scientists urgently need to recruit more people from all backgrounds – but are especially seeking the help of members of Bradford’s South Asian and Pakistani communities.
Local Muslim communities have enthusiastically backed the scheme, with leaders agreeing to help distribute thousands of information leaflets and posters – translated into Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati, and Punjabi – to its members. They welcomed the opportunity to get involved after researchers in the medical study issued an urgent cry for help to the city’s ethnic and minority communities.
James Morgan, an Intensive Care Consultant and Principal Investigator for the Genomics project at Bradford Teaching Hospitals said, “To date, 46,000 local people have contracted Covid – and the virus has tragically killed 1,200 people and over 3,000 others have been hospitalised.
“Through my work in intensive care, I’ve met many patients and their families who have agreed to participate in this research to help others, at one of the most difficult times in their lives. They know that by taking part in the study, they’re taking ownership of what’s happened and can be part of the solution.
“Many of these patients were from South Asian and Pakistani backgrounds - that’s why we urgently need suitable people from these communities to join the study to provide a comparison. To date we’ve recruited around 80 people but need more to sign up.”