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Half of Sikh deaths in West Midlands, UK in two weeks 'due to coronavirus'


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The Sikh Federation and other community groups urging government to consult them over deaths

 
  • 08:33, 17 APR 2020
  • Updated10:42, 17 APR 2020
 
 
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Almost half of Sikh deaths in the West Midlands over the last fortnight have been victims of COVID-19, community groups claim.

The Sikh Network, Sikh Council UK and Sikh Federation (UK) is now calling for government consultation after collecting data from Gurdwaras and funeral directors.

The groups claim their own data showed 47 per cent of all Sikhs deaths in the region came from the deadly bug. Wolverhampton has one of the largest UK Sikh communities outside of London.

Downing Street has announced an inquiry into why ethnic minorities may be disproportionately affected by COVID-19. It will be led by the NHS and Public Health England and will look at both the wider community and those working for the NHS.

Bhai Amrik Singh, the chairman of the Sikh Federation (UK), said: “Specific health vulnerabilities have been reported by leading medical journals about people of Sikh background i.e. diabetes, heart conditions, etc.

"Therefore, the inquiry looking at ethnicity should examine if public bodies and decision makers provided timely and appropriate advice to those at greatest risk.

“We hope the NHS and Public Health England that are leading the inquiry will reach out from the outset to us and other ethnic minority groups that best understand the combination of age, medical condition, social habits, religious practices and extended families."

The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data released this week based on registration of deaths confirmed 21.2 percent of deaths in England and Wales were a result of COVID-19. 

The ONS data indicated 22.1 percent of the deaths were COVID-19 related in the West Midlands. The ONS data for London that has seen the highest proportion of deaths from COVID-19 was over 46 percent.

On the day of lockdown on March 23, Preet Kaur Gill, the first female Sikh MP and Shadow International Development Secretary asked Heath Secretary Matt Hancock how many Sikhs had been diagnosed with COVID-19 and died because of the disease.

The Sikh groups said that weeks later Health Minister responded, stating that “we do not collect data on cases or deaths by ethnicity or religion”.

The Sikh Federation (UK) said they wrote to the ONS at the start of the month about the data they release every week on deaths.

They claim the ONS responded: “Our data is taken directly from the Death Certificate, ethnicity and faith are not recorded as part of the registration process and therefore we have no access to this data.”

Mr Singh added: “Government must consult leading Sikh community organisations on the continued restrictions on places of worship and produce specific guidance in a number of different areas tailored for individual ethnic minority communities knowing their precise needs.”

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/half-sikh-deaths-west-midlands-18104644

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Dint know accurate this map is or if it makes sense but West Midlands is a hotspot for the virus.  so is where I live,  I think derby has a lot of sikhs aswell  so does london      

 

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