While some areas of the UK keep lifting COVID-19 restrictions, other areas have anew been placed under lockdown or are on the watchlist. Many of the areas currently facing changes in social distancing measures feature ethnic minority communities with a strong oral tradition where community members’ dominant language, for instance, does not have one agreed standard writing system (e.g. Sylheti) or the language might not be recognised as a minority language (e.g. Pahari). Such linguistic barriers commonly prevent the NHS from providing equal access and outcomes for patients, as per Section 13G of the National Health Service Act 2006. This makes it increasingly difficult for members of ethnic minorities communities to be certain of which restrictions apply to whom and where, and lack of accessible communication is more apparent than ever, especially for those groups who have a strong oral tradition and may lack a standard writing system.
In the context of COVID-19, this project seeks to overcome these obstacles through two interventions: a series of videos in three minority languages (now availalbe on YouTube); and guidelines for English-speaking key workers in the NHS and local councils.
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This document summarises emerging findings from this project and our sister project, Social Learning about COVID-19, about Covid-19 knowledge acquisition and transmission in vulnerable minority ethnic groups that are predominantly reliant on an oral language (e.g. Sylheti, Pahari, Pashto).
National and Community endorsements
The project is supported and has received a number of important community endorsements, including: