British Asian stars in coronavirus advice video aimed at BAME communities

PUBLISHED: 19:00 21 April 2020

Actor and broadcaster Adil Ray takes part in the film. Picture: PA

Actor and broadcaster Adil Ray takes part in the film. Picture: PA

PA Archive/PA Images

Comedian Adil Ray, actress Meera Syal and TV presenter Anita Rani are among those taking part

Film-maker Gurinder Chadha, who aunt died of coronavirus. Picture: PAFilm-maker Gurinder Chadha, who aunt died of coronavirus. Picture: PA

British Asian stars have released a film giving advice about staying safe from coronavirus, which statistics show is disproportionately affecting BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) communities.

Comedian Adil Ray, actress Meera Syal and TV presenter Anita Rani, are among those taking part in the three-minute clip which contains advice developed in conjunction with Public Health England.

Figures published yesterday by NHS England showed that 16.2 per cent of those who died with coronavirus up to April 17 were from a BAME background.

Adil Ray, actor and broadcaster and one of the organisers of the video, which is posted on YouTube, said: “We all felt that we had to do something during these unprecedented times. It is evident that some of the advice and messages are not getting to some communities when they need it most.”

Actress and writer Meera Syal. Picture: PAActress and writer Meera Syal. Picture: PA

Bethnal Green and Bow MP Rushanara Ali described is as an “urgent message”. She tweeted: “We know the virus is disproportionately affecting BAME communities, so it’s vital we reach them.”

The video was also shared by Newham and Tower Hamlets councils.

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Newham Council tweeted: “Our neighbours Tower Hamlets have just shared a powerful video with an important coronavirus message from a number of British-Asian faces you’ll recognise. Please listen and share with our diverse community.”

One of those who took part was award-winning film-maker Gurinder Chadha who this week hailed the “NHS heroes” who stayed at her aunt’s bedside as she lost the fight with coronavirus complications in hospital.

Chadha, whose hit movies include Bend It Like Beckham and Blinded By The Light, described how family members, prevented by lockdown restrictions from being with their dying ‘bhuaji’ [auntie], instead said prayers and their final goodbyes by video call on Sunday.

Chadha wrote on Instagram: “We said goodbye to my dearest bhuaji from #covi̇d19 complications.

“She was my dad’s little sister.. and doted on me. She survived the Partition of India and sadly for us, her family, no one could be with her in person in her final moments.

“But two nurses in the Surrey hospital held her hand, FaceTimed her children who all chanted Sikh prayers during which her soul departed. God bless the #nhsheroes who made my dear aunt’s passing humane.”

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