01:05PM, Tuesday 09 June 2020
Slough MP Tan Dhesi has called on the Government to take urgent action after a report revealed COVID-19 may have ‘disproportionately impacted’ the BAME community.
The review by Public Health England found that people from black ethnic groups were most likely to be diagnosed with the virus.
Figures show 649 males and 486 females from black ethnic groups were diagnosed with COVID-19 per 100,000 population in the UK compared to 220 females and 224 males in white ethnic groups.
The report also found that people of Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, other Asian and other black ethnicity who contracted the disease had between 10 and 50 per cent higher risk of death compared to white British people.
Slough was ranked the most diverse local authority outside of London in the 2011 Census, with 45.7 per cent of the town’s population white.
Last month the Express reported that data from the Office of National Statistics showed that between March 1 and April 17, the town had one of the highest death rates from COVID-19 outside of the capital with 65 per 100,000 dying from the virus.
Mr Dhesi said: “Sadly, this report confirms what we already knew to be true, that racial and health inequalities amplify the risks of COVID-19.
“Those in the poorest households and people of colour are disproportionately impacted, with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people more likely to die from COVID-19 and more likely to be admitted to intensive care.”
The report, titled Disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19, said people from Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities are more likely to get infected due to being more likely to live in urban areas, visit overcrowded hospitals and have jobs that expose them to higher risk.
Death rates from COVID-19 were also found to be higher for black and Asian ethnic groups when compare to white ethnic groups.
The report said this is the opposite to what has been seen in recent years where all cause mortality rates were lower in Asian and black ethnic groups.
Age was found to be the largest disparity for the virus with people aged 80 or more 70 times more likely to die after having been diagnosed with COVID-19 than those aged 40 or below.
Mr Dhesi added: “Despite this review being called for a number of weeks ago, when it comes to the question of how we reduce these disparities and save lives, it is noticeably silent.
“This is a matter of life and death for BAME communities across the UK and the Government must take action to address these inequalities.”
A spokeswoman for Public Health England said the equalities minister, MP Kemi Badenoch, is now taking forward further work on the disparities identified by the review.
A statement from the Conservative MP added: “This government is rightly taking seriously the initial findings from the PHE report published earlier this week.
“However, it is also clear that much more needs to be done to understand the key drivers of the disparities identified and the relationships between the different risk factors.
“That is why I am now taking this work forward, which will enable us to make a real difference to people’s lives and protect our communities from the impact of the coronavirus.”
Top Ten Articles