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Source: London Assembly

Dear Editor,

 

Last week, the Government bowed to pressure and released Public Health England’s report on coronavirus health inequalities.

 

The report confirmed Black, Asian and minority ethnic people are more likely to contract and die from Covid-19. This tragic and unjust situation demands action. So, I was disappointed the report made no recommendations to the Government.

 

It is also concerning that evidence from BAME organisations and experts were not published with the report. 

 

In January this year, Professor Michael Marmot’s landmark review of health inequalities revealed that a decade on from his first study, divides have got wider. Coronavirus has tragically illustrated this.

 

It is a shame the Government ignored the report at the time, and the new Minister for Equalities admitted she had never heard of it.

 

The Mayor is right to call for a public inquiry into the disproportionate impact that Covid-19 has had upon BAME communities, and it is positive that the Equality and Human Rights Commission have  now decided to launch one.

 

In the meantime, we know that poverty, overcrowding, and key-worker job roles are all linked to the higher infection and death rates for BAME people.

 

The Government must now act upon these factors and the stark health inequalities in our society.

 

Yours,

Onkar Sahota AM

MIL OSI United Kingdom