Rise in racism following Leicester lockdown

Some people living in Leicester say they've experienced an increase in racism since the lockdown was announced, and the eyes of the country focussed on the city - the first to re-enter a local lockdown.

Ever since Leicester's lockdown was announced health officials, politicians and locals have been offering different theories about why Leicester has been so badly affected - and they're still searching for answers.

Kully Sidki is recovering from Covid-19 - he spent two months in hospital, including four weeks in intensive care.

He fully supports the lockdown but says the decision has become a target for racists.

Kully Sidki, Coronavirus survivor Credit: ITV News Central

Surinder Sharma, Chair of the Race Equality Centre in Leicester says he's surprised by the rise in racist comments on social media.

"The virus itself doesn't discriminate, regardless of people's skin colour or their background"

A letter written by academics from the city's university, says that the lockdown, which it describes as a "blunt and damaging tool of last resort," raises concerns that it will “target and disproportionately affect ethnic minority communities."

It adds that adherence to any proposed measures requires effective community engagement, and suggests that information has not been well shared up to this point.

A report out today said there was no obvious single source for the Coronavirus outbreak in the city, no particular care home, hospital, or factory to blame, and not linked to the reopening of schools.

The area inside the red line has been placed under tighter restrictions. Credit: Leicestershire County Council

Public Health England has today given a breakdown of the number of cases in the city, with the North East worst affected.

  • The North Evington ward had 161 reported cases in the two weeks up to 25th June.

  • Belgrave had 97 cases.

  • Stoneygate, Spinney Hills and Evington make up the top five wards most hit by coronavirus.

Overall those wards make up more than 50% of the cases in the city.

The Race Equality campaigners, and the city's mayor, say everyone needs to remain united to beat the virus and to lift the city out of lockdown.  

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