THIS week marks International Roma Day and Glasgow charity Romano Lav is holding digital celebrations to mark the occasion.

People are asked to make their own Roma flags and hang them in their windows until tomorrow.

Glasgow’s Govanhill has a large Roma population – the largest in Scotland and the second largest in the UK – and officials have been working to make sure member of the community are protected during the Covid-19 crisis.

Now new research, led by St Andrews University, highlights that the Spanish Roma (Gitano) community suffer disproportionate socio-economic and health factors that make them extremely vulnerable during the current pandemic.

The research, led by social anthropologist Dr Paloma Gay y Blasco from the School of Philosophical Anthropological and Film Studies and Maria Félix Rodriguez Camacho, Universidad de Alicante, Spain, warns that Roma, one of the most marginalised and poorest minorities in Europe, are likely suffer the impact of coronavirus in extreme ways.

Roma communities across Europe have entered the pandemic from a disadvantaged position.

Gitanos experience greater levels of COPD, obesity and diabetes; and they are more likely to suffer serious health conditions which may impact whether individuals survive COVID-19.

Sub-standard housing conditions in inner-city areas or in slums, residential segregation in purpose-built ghettos, and overcrowding all affect disproportionally the Gitano community.