Scientists involved in a Covid-19 genetic research study have issued an urgent call to Londoners who caught the virus to donate blood at special pop-up centres opening across the capital.

From this Saturday (April 24), the city’s first temporary centres, including on the Barnet/Enfield border, will open their doors to volunteers.

The unique GenOMICC Covid-19 study analyses the genes of people who have had the virus to discover why some experienced no symptoms while others became extremely ill.

The study is already contributing to the fight again Covid, with preliminary results helping identify possible new treatments.

However, for the study to continue to make progress, the scientists urgently need to recruit 2,500 more people from all backgrounds.

Along with seeking the help of members of London’s Asian and Black communities, they’re also keen for more men to volunteer.

Credit: Genomics England

Credit: Genomics England

The centre in Barnet will be at West Lodge Park Hotel in Cockfosters Road near Hadley Wood (EN4 0PY) on Saturday only.

The visit will involve a blood sample being taken from a person.

Anyone interested in being involved, but unable to visit the centre on Saturday, can also arrange for a home visit by a nurse. Registration details can be found at the bottom of the article.

Dr Kenneth Baillie, the study’s chief investigator, said: "We’re appealing for more volunteers from all walks of life - and in particular for people from London’s Asian and Black communities - to come forward and register.

"We need to find people who tested positive for Covid but experienced either mild or no symptoms and didn’t require hospital treatment. To maximise the study’s potential, it’s important these volunteers are similar in age, gender and ethnicity of those people who were severely affected and hospitalised."

Credit: Genomics England

Credit: Genomics England

Professor Sir Mark Caulfied, chief scientist at Genomics England, said "The quicker this research can be completed, the faster we can solve the Covid puzzle and protect vulnerable people.

"Genetic research into Covid-19 is now playing an increasingly important role in our fight against the virus, enabling us to identify new forms of the virus and develop treatments.

"The findings from the GenOMICC COVID-19 Study will improve the treatment, care and outcome for those most at risk and lower the number of deaths."

The research project is open to anyone who tested positive to Covid but experienced mild or no symptoms and didn’t require hospital treatment. Volunteers can register online at