By Paul Waugh
Coronavirus has changed everything. Make sense of it all with the Waugh Zone, our evening politics briefing.
The NHS Workers Who Have Lost Their Lives Due To Coronavirus
Lawrence said: “I am proud to take up this role at a critical moment for our country. The coronavirus pandemic has brought society together, but it has also exposed the gulf in living standards that still blights our communities.
“Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities have long been disadvantaged by the social and economic injustice which still exists in our country. There is a clear and tragic pattern emerging of the pandemic’s impact on those communities which must be better understood.”
Starmer said: “Doreen Lawrence has spent almost three decades campaigning against injustice. I have seen first-hand her drive and determination, and was proud to stand beside her in fighting for justice for Stephen.
“In the face of this national emergency, Labour will continue to work constructively with the government. That includes shining a light on issues where it is clear more detailed understanding is needed.
“It is extremely concerning to see the disproportionate toll coronavirus is taking on our BAME communities. We cannot afford to treat this as an issue to investigate once the crisis is over. We must address it now.”
Marsha de Cordova, Labour’s shadow women and equalities secretary, said the “early signs” suggested BAME communities and healthcare workers were disproportionately bearing the brunt of coronavirus.
“Across our frontline are huge numbers of BAME doctors, nurses, bus drivers and other BAME key workers. Every day they put themselves in harm’s way to save and support the lives of others. We must do everything to protect them, their families and communities who have been hit hardest by the virus.”
Figures from the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre released last week showed that 34.5% of patients in intensive care for Covid-19 were from BAME backgrounds.
According to the most recent census data, the proportion of people in the wider proportion from BAME background is 14%.
BAME workers represent 44% of the NHS workforce, but account for about two thirds of the NHS staff known to have died with the virus. Every one of the 15 doctors reported to have died so far is from an ethnic minority.
Paying tribute to Dr Rasiah, known to his friends as Vish, Sarah-Jane Marsh, chief executive of the Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Vish was an amazing doctor, leader, colleague and friend, passionate about the care of babies and their families.
“Losing him in such a cruel and unfair way will be too much to bear for many of us, in particular anyone involved in neonatal care, and of course his beautiful wife and daughter.
“As our tears flow, we must always remember the values that Vish stood for, and hold his vision, courage and compassion in our hearts. God bless you Vish, and may you rest in peace.”