Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Pujya Yogvivek Swami at the BAPS
BRITAIN’S most influential Hindu temple, the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir, in north London, is seeking to spread awareness in the Asian community about the PRINCIPLE treatment trial aimed at alleviating the symptoms of Covid-19 patients.
Led by the University of Oxford, the PRINCIPLE trial is evaluating if treatment administered early can help people aged older than 50 recover quickly from Covid-19 illness, without the need for hospital admission.
Pujya Yogvivek Swami, the head of the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden, earlier this week explained details of the trial to worshippers via video.
He said the PRINCIPLE was open across the UK to people aged over 50 with an underlying health condition or anyone aged over 65. Those with Covid-19 symptoms can join online from home or via GP practices across the country, without needing face-to-face visits.
PRINCIPLE is one of the UK government’s national priority platform trials on treatments for Covid-19, with more than 850 participants already signed up and contributing.
It is currently trialling two common antibiotics – doxycycline and azithromycin.
Participants are randomised and followed up for 28 days and the Oxford team will be in contact by telephone.
Recruiting people from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities can be a particular challenge for research and it is hoped the support of the temple will help spread the message among these groups.
Last month, Professor Mahendra G Patel, University of Bradford, joined PRINCIPLE Trial as National black, Asian and minority ethnic Community and Pharmacy Lead.
He said, “There has to be a more concerted and tailored effort to reach out to black, Asian and minority ethnic communities more effectively in health research, particularly in the case of Covid-19 where we are seeing members of these communities unfortunately experiencing a greater risk of contracting the virus with higher adverse effects and even deaths.