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BAME Britons still lack protection from Covid, says doctors' chief

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A third of coronavirus patients in intensive care are from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, prompting the head of the British Medical Association to warn that government inaction will be responsible for further disproportionate deaths.

Chaand Nagpaul, the BMA Council chair, was the first public figure to call for an inquiry into whether and why there was a disparity between BAME and white people in Britain in terms of how they were being affected by the pandemic, in April.

Subsequent studies, including a Public Health England (PHE) analysis in early June, confirmed people of certain ethnicities were at greater risk but Nagpaul said no remedial action had been taken by the government.

Nagpaul told the Guardian: “We are continuing to see BAME people suffering disproportionately in terms of intensive care admissions so not acting means that we’re not protecting our vulnerable communities. Action was needed back in July and it’s certainly needed now more than ever.

“As the infection rate rises, there’s no reason to believe that the BAME population will not suffer again because no action has been taken to protect them. They are still at higher risk of serious ill health and dying.”

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Source: The Guardian, 20 September 2020

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