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Coronavirus: Black, Asian and ethnic minorities ‘disproportionately’ affected by Covid-19 deaths according to ONS

PUBLISHED: 17:51 15 May 2020 | UPDATED: 12:55 17 May 2020

BAME people have been hit harder by Covid-19. Picture: Yui Mok/PA

BAME people have been hit harder by Covid-19. Picture: Yui Mok/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

The risk of dying a Covid-19 related death are more than twice as likely for Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities as it is for white communities, a study reveals.

Data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), found black males are 4.2 times more likely to die from a COVID-19-related death and black females are 4.3 times more likely than those of white ethnicity .

Males in the Bangladeshi and Pakistani ethnicity group are 1.8 times more likely to have a coronavirus related death than white males and females 1.6 times more than white women.

Brent Council leader Cllr Muhammed Butt, who is also the London Council’s executive member for welfare, empowerment and inclusion, said he was “extremely concerned” by the findings.

“Every coronavirus death is a tragedy involving individual factors that are often complex,” he said. “But the ONS research points to an unmistakable trend – and these appalling figures highlight London’s long standing health inequalities.

“Boroughs are working hard to protect all vulnerable Londoners during this hugely challenging time. We’re engaging closely with local community, faith and voluntary sector leaders to ensure that the specific needs of BAME Londoners are met.

“While boroughs are determined to address these inequalities, we need to see national policy changes on a range of issues – including investment in public health, housing, and welfare – that are essential for building a healthier and fairer London. The Covid-19 pandemic is a clear prompt for a shift in approach.”

Navin Shah, newly appointed chair of the London Assembly, said: “What I am very aware and concerned about is the plight of black and ethnic minority communities who have been disproportionately hit by Covid-19.

“It just shows health inequality and deprivation. When you have bus drivers dying, or people taking buses, they were all from BAME communities, they had no choice. Frontline services where you have BAME staff whether it’s NHS, cleaners on the underground or transport workers, it’s BAME communities that have been hit hard.

“I need to take advice whether as chair of London Assembly I can put this issue right across committees to look at on how we can improve this inequality and depravation across London. There’s got to be more than lip service now.”


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