Scientists urge Asian community to help with Covid research at ‘pop-up’ Slough blood donation centre – Berkshire Live

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A new centre is set to open in Slough to help scientists learn more about Covid-19.

The blood donation centre will open between Wednesday, April 14 and Friday, April 16, at a temporary centre at the Holiday Inn in Church Street.

Scientists want people who have had Covid, but have not been to hospital to volunteer to donate blood samples – and they’re keen for members of the Asian community to help.

The centre is part of the unique GenOMICC COVID-19 study, which analyses genes of people who have had the virus.

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Scientists are looking to establish why some people have had no symptoms of the virus and others have become seriously ill.

Preliminary results have already identified possible new treatments.

However, the teams are lacking a wide range of samples and are very keen to get more samples from the Asian community in Slough.

The area has had Berkshire’s highest numbers for coronavirus throughout the pandemic, with numbers of more than 1,200 per 100,000 people at one stage.

Those numbers are much lower now but the team believe studying blood samples can give them a vital insight into the behaviour of the virus.

Similar centres in part of Scotland and Bradford in Yorkshire have been a success and scientists hope for a similar response in Slough.

Dr Kenneth Baillie, the study’s Chief Investigator, said: “We’re issuing an urgent appeal for more volunteers from all walks of life – and in particular for people from the region’s Asian community – to come forward and register as soon as possible.

“We need to find people who tested positive for COVID but experienced either mild or no symptoms and didn’t require hospital treatment.

“For comparison purposes, it’s important that these volunteers are similar in age, gender and ethnicity of those people who were severely affected and hospitalised.”

Professor Sir Mark Caulfied, Chief Scientist at Genomics England, added: “The quicker this research can be completed, the faster we can solve the COVID puzzle and protect vulnerable people.

“Genetic research into COVID-19 is now playing an increasingly important role in our fight against the virus, enabling us to identify new forms of the virus and develop treatments.

“The findings from the GenOMICC COVID-19 Study will improve the treatment, care and outcome for those most at risk, as well as helping to prioritise future vaccinations and lower the number of deaths.”

The project is open to anyone who either test positive and had mild or no symptoms or didn’t require hospital treatment.

Volunteers can register online here.

Home visits can also be arranged.

This content was originally published here.