‘BAME community needs our support to lower COVID-19 rate’ says Sinn Fein

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Sinn Fein has called for a multi-agency approach and support for the BAME community as COVID-19 infection rates spike in the Southern Trust area.

MLA John O’Dowd spoke after a public meeting of the Southern Trust Board at which it emerged that ‘there is evidence to suggest the Black Asian Minority Ethnic community in the Trust area are experiencing high rates of COVID-19 infection’.

Mr O’Dowd said: “The BAME communities need our support to help drive the rates of infection. There needs to be a multi agency approach which ensures the complexities of why the virus is spreading so rapidly are understood and responded to.

“For example the response needs to target factories with high levels of workers from BAME communities to ensure protections are in place for all workers. Housing of multiple occupation need to be targeted with residents made aware of the dangers of covid spreading in such settings.

John O'DowdJohn O'Dowd
John O'Dowd

“A public information campaign must also be undertaken in all languages and formats accessible to all.

“It would be a huge mistake and injustice to blame the BAME community for the high levels of spread in the Southern Trust area.

“There are particular challenges sections of the BAME communities face which make them more vulnerable. Health and other agencies must work together to support all sections of society to be aware and protect themselves and others from the virus.”




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