Dr Sarah Jarvis and Adil Ray clashed on GMB today (July 31).
At the time, the pair were discussing stricter lockdown measures that were introduced in some areas of north-west England last night following a spike in coronavirus cases.
In some areas affected such as Blackburn, approximately one-third of the population are from ethnic backgrounds including large Pakistani heritage communities.
Councillor Saima Afzal warned that there is a risk some will stigmatise Asian communities as a result.
He told the PA news agency: “It’s a concern when people start twisting that, like I said – we are more prone to picking up, BAME heritage background people are more prone to picking up the infection than the indigenous.
“But that doesn’t mean they are the ones spreading it, which some papers are trying to twist.”
Adil Ray speaks out
Addressing concerns on GMB, Adil said: “I just feel that as a nation at a time like this, it’s important that we have a lot of understanding for each other at the moment because we can see how difficult it is.
“The worst thing we could see and the thing that worries me is that we start to point fingers at one another or pointing fingers at communities.
“It’s difficult for everyone.”
He added: “People have flouted the rules across all communities. We all know somebody who has probably flouted the rules.
“So we all need to get in check a little bit more.
“But I really hope we don’t get divided by this and that we have some understanding and empathy.”
Dr Sarah Jarvis and Adil Ray clash
Dr Sarah was then quick to hit back at Adil and appeared to pull him up on his comments.
She said: “Adil, this is nothing about flouting the rules. This is nothing about pointing fingers – certainly from my perspective.
“This is about the fact that people from the BAME origin unfortunately are more likely to die if they get COVID and that’s one of the great horrors of this condition and in some respects a scandal.”
Dr Sarah added: “There’s a concern they haven’t been protected.
“It’s partly because they are more likely to live in overcrowded populations, partly because people of Afro-Carriean origin particularly are more likely to work in public-facing roles, partly because they’re more likely to have type 2 diabetes and heart conditions that increase your risk.
“We don’t know what all the factors are but what we do know if that they are at higher risk.”
Good Morning Britain is on ITV, weekdays, from 6am.
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