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BAMER COVID-19 Action Group BAME Parents Concerned About Schools Plan: Community group appeals to central government

Alliance group in Sheffield calls for "unambiguous plan for extensive testing, contact tracing and quarantine".

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Photo by bantersnaps on Unsplash.

An alliance of BAME organisations responding to the coronavirus outbreak in Sheffield has shared concerns from parents about the re-opening of schools in the coming days and weeks.

Abdul Shaif, Chair of the BAMER Covid-19 Action Group, told Now Then that the group had been contacted by "many BAME parents" in Sheffield who are concerned about the government's decision to re-open schools on 1 June, in particular in light of how coronavirus has disproportionately affected BAME communities across the UK.

"It is essential for BAME parents to receive an unambiguous plan for extensive testing, contact tracing and quarantine in society as a whole," Shaif said.

"Their concerns are entirely justified in light of BAME deaths being as much as four times the average [in the UK]."

He added that other countries had introduced successful strategies in recent weeks, leading to "many fewer cases and very many fewer deaths" than in the UK.

The appeal came as national BAME campaigners today called for a Covid-19 race equality strategy to "not only deal with the immediacy of saving lives, but also fundamentally rebuild many of our institutions that this disease has exposed as having huge racial disparities".

Last week (21 May), Cllr Abtisam Mohamed, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills at Sheffield City Council, said that some schools in the city will welcome more children from 1 June, "more will do so later that week and perhaps the majority [...] from 8 June onwards".

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