Council urges South Asian communities to take Covid tests

Numerous community groups have backed a council campaign to highlight the importance of regular testing 

At the community outreach event in early June

Waltham Forest Council is urging all residents – particularly those from diverse backgrounds and South Asian communities – to get regular Covid-19 tests. 

A council-run community outreach event, which took place in Walthamstow in early June, was supported by charity Noor ul Islam. 

Volunteers from various community groups joined them to hand out free rapid test kits to passersby – while sharing information and advice. 

Residents are encouraged to take the free rapid (lateral flow) test twice a week, particularly as England’s lockdown measures continue to relax in summer. Tests can be taken at home, or at one of the borough’s test sites, and produce results in 30 minutes. 

Yusuf Hansa, Noor ul Islam’s chairman, said: “During Ramadan [April to May], we have been advising our congregation on the importance of testing, how to use the lateral flow test and what to do if this comes up as positive. 

“With the council’s support, we have been able to put in place a really great offer to help keep our local community safe as we continue to move out of lockdown.” 

Other local groups – including radio station Nu Sound, the online group Muslim Mamas, Waltham Forest Women’s Network and Muslim Aid Charity – are also supporting the push for regular testing. 

And Waltham Forest’s director of public health, Joe McDonnell, stressed: “I urge everyone to get a free test at least twice a week if you feel fine. 

“If you have any of the Covid symptoms – a persistent cough, a high temperature or a loss or change of smell or taste – you should self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test. 

“By working together with key partners in the South Asian community on this campaign, we will be able to reach over 100,000 people from Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds within our borough and beyond who may be at risk from the virus.” 

To find out how to get tested for Covid in the borough, head here or visit Waltham Forest Council’s website