A UNIVERSITY lecturer has teamed up with the Department of Health to produce a video where he has translated coronavirus advice into Punjabi.

Gurinder Singh is a lecturer at the University of Reading, a part-time pharmacist and also works on the NHS Test and Trace programme.

The 30-year-old is from Swindon and is married to fellow pharmacist Rajdip Kaur, who is from Shipley, and has got to know Bradford "quite a lot" since the couple - who celebrate their anniversary this weekend - married six years ago.

Gurinder says that not having COVID-19 advice translated into other languages puts some groups at a disadvantage.

"No community should be disadvantaged because of a language barrier, and that's why I've produced this video", he says.

"Working on the NHS Test and Trace programme, I noticed Punjabi, Hindi and Gujarati were the main languages people were having problems with."

Punjabi is the official language of the Indian state of Punjab, while it is also widely spoken in Pakistan.

In the 2011 census, Punjabi was listed as the third most-spoken language in the UK, while three other South Asian languages - Urdu, Bengali and Gujarati - were the fourth, fifth and sixth most-spoken, respectively.

Gurinder believes that South Asian people distributing important messages to their own communities themselves is an effective way of communication.

"Language is one barrier, but trust is another", he explains.

"Having a person from your community giving you important messages, in your own language, helps build a rapport and will hopefully help to address health inequalities in the UK.

"We were worried about this video as people can be quick to complain about other languages being spoken in the UK, but if the elderly in our communities see a fellow brown person giving them a message in their native language, they can relate to that more.

"Some of them also can't read or write their native language, so having signs translated doesn't help as much as having audio translated does.

"As Bradford is very multi-cultural, I think this video will help many people here."

Gurinder and Rajdip planned to visit the Bradford district to see his in-laws over the bank holiday weekend, but decided not to, in the interests of safety.

"We've heard the rates are high in Bradford, but we hope people follow advice so the district can get its economy and social life back", he says.

"My mask protects you, your mask protects me - we need to follow the guidelines so we can recover."