WM Mayor hosts virtual roundtable with BAME communities

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BIRMINGHAM: West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has hosted a roundtable with leading community figures as part of Public Health England’s rapid review into whether people of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds are more adversely affected by Covid-19.

Mayor Andy Street

The discussion, which was led by the Mayor and Professor Kevin Fenton, the review’s lead researcher and the regional director of public health at both PHE and NHS London, included Birmingham City Councillor Paulette Hamilton, Reverend Cassius Francis from Wolverhampton, and businesswoman Anita Bhalla, as well as 25 other community and faith representatives from around the region.

The group, who met virtually, discussed a variety of topics including deprivation, data about ethnicity and deaths, the sharing of best practice from other countries, and the effectiveness of Government communication to BAME communities.

Mayor Andy Street said: “It is important the Government is undertaking this review so we can get answers quickly on why it appears BAME groups are being disproportionately affected by Covid-19.

“The West Midlands is diverse in every sense of the word, and we are all fiercely proud of that. It is therefore deeply concerning when we read headlines of diverse communities potentially being more affected by a deadly disease like Coronavirus.