POLITICS
01/06/2020 15:32 BST | Updated 01/06/2020 15:45 BST

Delayed Report Into Impact Of Coronavirus On BAME Communities Due 'Shortly'

Public Health England says review, which was expected by end of May, is being finalised but no publication date is set.

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A delayed report into the impact of coronavirus on ethnic minorities due to have been released by the end of last month will be published “shortly”, Public Health England (PHE) has said.

In early May, PHE announced it would investigate how factors such as ethnicity, deprivation, age and gender affected people’s vulnerability to the virus.

Analysis by University College London found people from England’s Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities are two-to-three times more likely to die from Covd-19 than the general population.

Responding to a question from HuffPost UK at Wednesday’s Downing Street press conference, England’s deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam said PHE had assured him the report was “on schedule”.

“I regard this as very pressing and very important,” he said. “I believe the report is going to be very comprehensive when it comes out.”

Van-Tam said the review would involve “enormous complexity” as it would have to “unpick” various factors, including age and underlying health conditions from ethnicity.

PA Video - PA Images via Getty Images
Deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam has said the report is of "pressing" importance.

But PHE was not not able to give a date for when the report would be released.

“We are finalising the report and it will be published shortly,” a spokesperson said.

“We’ve been peer reviewing and taking final comments from stakeholders prior to publication.” 

A study by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) last week also found minority ethnic nurses were more likely to have problems accessing protective equipment (PPE).

The RCN conducted a poll on more than 5,000 nurses about the provision of PPE, including more than 700 from BAME backgrounds.

It showed while 29% of white British nurses felt pressure to care for confirmed or possible Covid-19 patients without adequate PPE – this rose to 56% for BAME nurses.

Less than half (43%) of BAME nurses said they had enough eye protection compared with 66% of white British nurses.