Coronavirus: Call for COVID-19 clinical trial volunteers – how you can take part
Coronavirus is an infectious disease which has been confirmed in more than one million individuals across the world. As cases continue to rise in the UK, the government has called for more COVID-19 patients to volunteer for clinical trials, in the search for a vaccine.
The government has advised the public to stay at home, to avoid becoming infected or spreading the virus further.
But, there are already more than 38,000 people who have confirmed cases of coronavirus.
The actual figure is probably much higher, as a number of people have been self-isolating with coronavirus symptoms, without being tested.
The UK is yet to reach the peak in the fight against coronavirus, and the government has urged patients to volunteer for clinical trials.
There is currently no vaccine or treatment for coronavirus, and scientists across the globe are working hard to find a cure.
In order to help the process, researchers need human volunteers to take part in their medical trials.
The number of patients that have already volunteered has reached almost 1,000, the deputy chief medical officer confirmed on Friday.
But, he still called for more individuals to take part in clinical trials, with the UK set to be in lockdown for weeks, or even months.
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“People will have read in the newspapers sometimes, when a new drug is being trialled, that there’s an advert, and you ring up and volunteer for the clinical trial,” said Jonathan Van Tam, in Downing Street’s daily press briefing.
“This is a very different scenario. Here, these are about patients undergoing treatment at some stage for COVID-19.”
Only individuals that have been infected with COVID-19 are being asked to take part in these trials.
If they’re already in hospital, their doctor will have the option to recommend the patient for the trials, if they think they’re fit to do so.
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“First of all, we need the physicians in charge of their care to sign up for the clinical trial,” said Van Tam.
“Then it’s up to the physician to approach the patient, and ask them if they would like to take part. It’s a process of very informed, written consent for that to happen.
“But, the straight answer is yes. We do need people to take part in the clinical trials, and they are doing.
“For the recovery trial, yesterday’s figure reported to me was a little over 700 patients into the trial. Today, I’m walking to 10 Downing Street, and the number comes through as 926. This is really fantastic work by both clinicians, and by patients.”
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More than 38,000 people in the UK have tested positive for coronavirus, according to latest government figures.
Of the 38,168 confirmed cases, 3,605 people have died from the infection.
Everyone has been told to remain at home to avoid spreading the infection.
You should only leave your home to go food or medicine shopping, for medical help, traveling to and from work – where absolutely necessary – and for one form of exercise every day.
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