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Europe’s BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, the largest Hindu temple outside of India, is supporting their community during the coronavirus pandemic by spreading awareness of the PANORAMIC trial of COVID-19 treatments.

Europe’s BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, the largest Hindu temple outside of India, is supporting their community during the coronavirus pandemic by spreading awareness of the PANORAMIC trial of COVID-19 treatments. 

Led by researchers from Oxford University and partnered with the National Institute for Health Research, the The Platform Adaptive trial of NOvel antiviRals for eArly treatMent of COVID-19 In the Community (PANORAMIC) study is working across all UK communities to evaluate if treatment administered early in the course of the COVID-19 illness can help people aged over 50 and those at higher risk recover quickly, without the need for hospital admission.  With over 15,000 participants, PANORAMIC is by far the world's largest study into new antiviral treatments against COVID-19 in community and ambulatory care.

Sadhu Yogvivekdas, Head of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha community for the UK and Europe, explains details of this first-of-its-kind clinical trial in this YouTube video. Providing an overview of the eligibility requirements, Yogvivekdas explained that those with COVID-19 symptoms can join online from home or via GP practices across the country, without the need for face-to-face visits. 

This is the second time that BAPS and Sadhu Yogvivekdas, who himself trained in medicine and practised as a doctor before being initiated as a sadhu by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj in 1992, has supported our work in seeking COVID-19 treatments for at-risk groups. Their support for the PRINCIPLE study has been instrumental in it reaching a more diverse and inclusive population.  

Developing grassroots partnerships has been a major focus of the study’s recruitment strategy. Professor Mahendra G Patel, PANORAMIC’s Pharmacy, Diversity and Inclusivity Lead  developed the collaboration with the BAPS temple. He said:

"It's important that we continue to support recruitment of volunteers to this high priority study and to be inclusive and representative in terms of the diversity of the British diaspora."

“Places of worship can often play a huge role in reaching out to its followers, and we are delighted to be once again supported by BAPS Swaminarayan Hindu Temple Neasdon London, one of the most influential Hindu temples in Europe, in helping to raise the awareness of PANORAMIC so that we are able to gather sufficient evidence to quickly establish who would benefit the most from these novel antivirals for the treatment of COVID-19 in the community.” 

Chief Investigator of PANORAMIC, Professor Chris Butler from Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, said:

“We know that many minority ethnic groups in the UK more often become severely unwell when they become ill with COVID-19. That’s why we are so grateful and it’s so important to have the support of Sadhu Yogvivekdas, and BAPS Swaminarayan Hindu Temple to help us to reach out to communities as widely as possible. PANORAMIC is a democratic, UK-wide clinical trial and is striving to be as inclusive as possible. We encourage people from all minority ethnic communities with COVID-19 to contribute to PANORAMIC, in order to help us make a big difference to the evidence that supports better care for everybody.” 

PANORAMIC is open to anyone that is currently experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, beginning in the last 5 days; has had a positive PCR or Lateral Flow test for COVID-19; and is aged 50 or over, or aged 18 or over with a pre-existing health condition. 

For more information, please visit www.panoramictrial.org