ES News email

Photo credit: PA

A report with advice for Government on how to protect BAME communities from coronavirus has not been published, an academic has said.

The already-written safeguarding proposals are a separate document to the review published last week showing that Covid-19 kills disproportionately high numbers of people from ethnic minorities, the BBC reports.

The findings from Public Health England (PHE) said that people of Bangladeshi heritage were dying at around twice the rate of white Britons.

It also found that other minority ethnic groups were at up to 50% higher risk of dying, but the document was criticised for not including any safeguarding measures.

PHE said the recommendations will be published next week when submitted to ministers.

A scientist who had been asked to peer-review the as yet unpublished recommendations file told the BBC that Parliament had “not been told the full truth”.

Professor Raj Bhopal from the University of Edinburgh described the report as an “open secret” and had “every hallmark of a [Government] report ready to go to the press”.

He added: “If you consult the public, you must publish the results.

“Otherwise, you’ve wasted their time, you’ve wasted your own time, you’ve wasted taxpayers’ money, and you’ve lost trust.”

Prof Bhopal said the document titled Beyond the Data: Understanding the Impact of Covid-19 on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Communities, and marked “official sensitive”, contains evidence from 4,000 parties.

PHE said in a statement: “The Government commissioned PHE to conduct an epidemiological review to analyse how different factors can impact on people’s health outcomes from Covid-19. This was published in full on the 2nd June.

“In parallel, Professor Kevin Fenton, on PHE’s behalf, engaged with a significant number of individuals and organisations within the BAME community, to hear their views, concerns and ideas about the impact of Covid-19 on their communities.”

Labour has called the incident a “scandal” and “yet another in a litany of failures to support BAME communities during Covid-19″.

Marsha De Cordova MP, Labour’s shadow women and equalities secretary, added: “The Government must now urgently publish these recommendations in full and provide an explanation for its lack of transparency on this review. Black Lives Matter is more than just a slogan, we cannot wait any longer for action to tackle racial injustice.”

One of the country’s largest unions described it as “going beyond mismanagement of the crisis and has stepped into institutionalised racism”.

In a statement, the GMB said: “By suppressing further investigation into the disproportionate deaths amongst Black Asian Minority Ethnic communities and refusing to put in place the recommended additional protection, this Government will have cost lives.”