9th May, 2021

Covid survivors urged to join region's new research drive

Solihull Editorial 4th May, 2021

A POP-UP blood donation centre to help ground-breaking Covid-19 research is to be opened in Birmingham – and the scientists involved are calling for people who caught the virus to volunteer to help.

From Saturday, May 8, eligible participants will be able to donate a blood sample at a temporary, Covid-secure centre at the Holiday Inn Express at 1 Snow Hill Plaza, St Chads, Queensway, B4 6HY).

If they don’t wish to travel, the scheme also offers volunteers the option of making an appointment for a nurse to visit their home.

The unique GenOMICC Covid-19 study will analyse 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 the scientists urgently need to recruit more people from all backgrounds and are appealing to those who had the virus but didn’t require hospital treatment to sign up.

Along with seeking the help of members of Asian and Black communities, they’re also keen for more men to volunteer.

“The virus’ effect has been more widely felt among ethnic and minority communities, so it’s important we help those who are making such an important contribution in the fight against Covid”, said Aman Ali from Muslim Engagement and Development.

“We’re encouraging everyone to take a minute to see if they’re suitable to volunteer for the study. The results will be shared internationally and offer more protection to some of the most vulnerable groups of people around the world.”

The programme was enthusiastically embraced in Scotland, Bradford, Preston, London and Leicester when similar sites were opened recently – and scientists are hoping for a similar response in Birmingham.

The research project is open to anyone who tested positive to Covid but experienced mild or no symptoms and didn’t require hospital treatment – volunteers can register online at https://covid.genomicc.org/.

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