A BRADFORD professor has joined a major trial looking into coronavirus treatments.

Dr Mahendra Patel, an honorary visiting professor at the University of Bradford, and member on both local and national pharmacy boards, has joined the PRINCIPLE trial, led by the University of Oxford, as National Black, Asian and minority ethnic Community and Pharmacy Lead.

The trial is evaluating whether treatment early on in the community can help people aged over 50 recover quickly from Covid-19 illness, without the need for hospital admission.

He said: “I am delighted and honoured to be joining the PRINCIPLE Trial for this very important work in the crusade against coronavirus, and I look forward to promoting and supporting the wider recruitment of people to the trial through my national pharmacy and community networks.

"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.

“South Asian communities have a different outlook to engaging with health research and studies, and this may the case be with Black and other minority ethnic groups as well.

"How you reach out to the different communities is vital to ensure proper understanding and confidence is attained owing to people’s different cultural and religious beliefs and attitudes. Of course, the more people volunteering to take part in these studies and trials, the greater the likelihood for an effective and safe means of tackling the virus is established.

“In addition, pharmacists play a valuable role in the community and in primary care and there is an opportunity here to use those channels more effectively in recruiting people from all backgrounds into this trial."