Boris Johnson is facing growing pressure to launch an independent public inquiry into the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus pandemic on people from black, Asian, and minority ethnic backgrounds in the UK.

In a letter to the prime minister, a coalition of 70 prominent figures from Bame backgrounds says that Covid-19 has highlighted race and health inequality issues in Britain, and claim a current government review lacks transparency.

Signatories of the letter, published on Sunday, include the Labour peer Baroness Doreen Lawrence, broadcaster Konnie Huq, author Malorie Blackman, singer Jermain Jackman, comedian Phil Wang, actor Matt Henry and film director Saloum N’Jie.

Faith leaders including Harun Khan, the secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, and the very reverend Rogers Govender, the dean of Manchester Cathedral, have also signed the letter to Mr Johnson.

It comes after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published data earlier this week showing that black men and women in England and Wales are almost twice as likely to die from the virus, compared with white people.

Boris Johnson to launch new Covid-19 alert system

A new coronavirus alert system for England to track the virus is set to be unveiled by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he updates the nation on lockdown measures on Sunday evening. The system will rank the threat from the virus ranging from green (level one) to red (level five) and will be adjusted according to data.

He will also reveal a new slogan, telling the public “stay alert, control the virus, save lives”

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