"This report highlights the work that still needs to be done to ensure BAME communities are not disproportionately impacted by coronavirus."
Responding to a Public Health England report on the impact of coronavirus on Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“This report highlights the work that still needs to be done to ensure BAME communities are not disproportionately impacted by coronavirus.
“Fairness, equality and social justice flows through everything local government does and councils are wholly committed to ensuring that no one in their communities is left behind or cannot be supported to combat the effects of this dreadful disease.
“There is clearly an increased risk to people from different BAME groups of being infected and dying from COVID-19 and there are many factors involved in this. Some of these are long-term, fundamental issues around health and society which need to be addressed, including housing and occupation.
“Specific actions which can be taken in the short term include improving public messaging around the risk of acquiring COVID-19; improving messaging about health-seeking behaviour, such as encouraging people from Black British heritage to go into hospital if they need to; and greater consideration of underlying risks once a person is in hospital. “This includes important questions around the care for individuals and whether different treatments are needed to reflect these underlying risks.
“Councils recognise the anger and dismay from those who have been most affected by the effects of this virus and will look carefully at these recommendations and at what more can be done to make sure the lessons of this report are learnt from and acted upon.
“The diversity in our country is what brings the richness to all of our communities and councils will remain at the forefront of confronting racism and discrimination, in whatever form it shows itself.”