British Pakistani MP urges UK government to examine coronavirus deaths in minority communities
MANCHESTER: British-Pakistani parliamentarian Yasmin Qureshi and other lawmakers have asked Health Secretary Matt Hancock to examine whether members of the UK’s ethnic groups and NHS workers are more vulnerable to the coronavirus outbreak.
In her message, the MP for Bolton South East urged the top health official to examine the matter in urgency and ensure that measures are taken on time and resolve why more members of the BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) group are among those critically ill.
The BAME community is 13 per cent of the population of the UK.
In another message, the health secretary was urged to do more for ethnic minority doctors, as they still fail to get NHS funding and are considered “outsiders.”
The MP ordered a investigation to determine information about perceived discrimination within the National Health Service and provide help for BAME workers, who make up 44 percent of the service’s medical personnel.
New research into the first British patients to contract COVID-19 has shown that it is more likely that the BAME population will be severely affected and end up in critical care.
The study undertaken by the National Audit and Research Center for Intensive Care showed 35 per cent of approximately 2,000 patients with coronavirus were non-white.
The first ten doctors and three of the six nurses who have died so far from COVID-19 have been members of the BAME culture. Someone from the ethnic minority community is a hospital pharmacist and at least one health care worker, who lost his life during the outbreak.
She also requested the government to set up a task force to analyze data and understand these patients more effectively.
She also said that no one is exempt from the pandemic, but social differences mean that certain communities would bear more than others the brunt of COVID-19.
“Socio-economic factors and cramped housing within the BAME community could be a major factor of the rise in COVID-19 cases,” she noted.