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Covid-19 population study proposal

Partners on the Norwich Research Park could be offering up scientific resource and expertise to a pilot project that would see every Norwich resident tested regularly for coronavirus symptoms.

The proposed project, which is awaiting central government approval, would be led by the Earlham Institute and supported by UEA, Quadram Institute, John Innes Centre and Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

If the trial in Norwich were to go ahead and prove a success, it would provide important data for preventing the spread of the disease on a larger scale.

The pilot would run independently from plans to reopen campus for teaching and wider research and is not expected to impact on these.

Prof Dylan Edwards, UEA’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, said: “The University of East Anglia has always been at the heart of the community in Norwich and we would be proud to play our part in this project if it gets the go-ahead from the Government.

“UEA’s scientists, health professionals, public health experts, students and alumni have already done much to support the city’s Covid-19 effort – developing new tests, 3D printing PPE, producing hand sanitiser, and treating patients in hospital.

“While this proposal is still at an early stage, Norwich Research Park clearly has a critical mass of expertise and infrastructure that makes the city an ideal location for piloting mass testing as a safe way of lifting lockdown measures. UEA’s specific role in the project would be to contribute researchers and academics to carry out the testing and help understand the impact of the virus on the health of the population.”

You can read more about the pilot proposal on the EDP website.