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BAME individuals share experiences on the impact of coronavirus

16 June 2020

The Women and Equalities Committee will hear evidence from medical and academic experts and from BAME individuals sharing lived experiences during the pandemic.

This is the first of three evidence sessions in this new inquiry which will examine the impact of coronavirus on BAME people and to assess what impact the Government measures to contain the pandemic have had on BAME communities.

Purpose of the session

This session aims to:

  • Explore existing inequalities that have made BAME people more vulnerable to the impacts of the pandemic with a specific focus on health, housing and employment
  • Assess how these pre-existing inequalities have amplified the impacts of the pandemic on BAME people leading to a high death rate and increased exposure to the virus
  • Understand the lived experience of BAME people during the pandemic


Wednesday 17 June 2020, 2.30pm

First panel

  • Dr Chaand Nagpaul, Chair of the British Medical Association
  • Professor Kamlesh Khunti, Professor of Primary Care Diabetes and Vascular Medicine, University of Leicester
  • Professor Lucinda Platt, Professor of Social Policy and Sociology, LSE

Second panel

  • Rosie Lewis, Angelou Centre
  • Naz Zaman, Lancashire BME Network
  • Barbara Palmer, Race Council Cymru

Chair Comment

Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, Rt Hon Caroline Nokes said:

"BAME people are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. This has been shown by several studies and most recently Public Health England. But we have heard nothing from the Government about what action it plans to take.
There is a real urgency here. Our inquiry will give a platform to the lived experience of BAME people during the pandemic, explore existing inequalities, and suggest ways for the Government to mitigate impacts of the pandemic on BAME people."

Purpose of the inquiry

The inquiry will:

  • Investigate the factors that made BAME communities vulnerable to the effects of the virus, for example overcrowded housing, health inequality and deprivation;
  • Understand and analyse the impact of the virus on BAME communities, for example exposure and higher death rates
  • Examine the impact that Government measures to contain the virus have had on BAME people, for example difficulty in self isolating, being key workers, loss of income;
  • Discuss what further steps can be taken to minimise the impact on BAME people.

The inquiry may also explore other impacts including a reported rise in hate crimes, no recourse to public funds, unconscious bias in educational settings, inaccessible Government guidance for people whose first language is not English.

Further information

Image: Jessica Taylor