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BBC Asian Network publishes coronavirus advice videos in Asian languages

BBC Asian Network has created a series of videos in seven different South Asian languages, explaining what Covid-19 is and how people can protect themselves.

In a bid to tackle the spread of disinformation during the coronavirus crisis, and help public health messages reach as wide an audience as possible, BBC Asian Network has worked with British Asian doctors to publish videos with important advice in seven South Asian languages.

The films produced by video journalist Nalini Sivathasan include advice spoken in Sylheti, Punjabi, Gujarati, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil and Urdu.

Some videos are about staying healthy during Ramadan amid the coronavirus pandemic. Dr Aslam explains the advice in Urdu, while Dr Suhail Tarafdar speaks in Sylheti. The videos are produced based on advice from the British Islamic Medical Association.

In others, British Asian doctors explain what the government guidance is on what people can and can’t do during lockdown. Dr Aisha Tahmina shares the advice in Sylheti, while Dr Dilsher Singh speaks in Punjabi.

BBC Asian Network’s Head of News Arif Ansari said, “We normally work purely in English for a UK audience. However, we realised that the government advice is not in other languages so we felt there was something we could do to help get those key public health messages across.”

“Many younger people who listen to Asian Network tell us they have been playing the videos to older relatives so it’s great to hear we are providing a valuable service to British Asians at this difficult and confusing time.”

BBC Asian Network is publishing more videos on its Twitter and Facebook accounts with a focus on health, coronavirus and looking after one during Ramadan.