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2 Jun, 2020 16:11

Covid-19 death rates in England HIGHER among ethnic minorities – Public Health England report

Covid-19 death rates in England HIGHER among ethnic minorities – Public Health England report

Covid-19 mortality rates among BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) people in England are higher than for the white population, with black people most likely to contract the deadly disease, according to an official report.

A review of “Disparities in the risk and outcomes of Covid-19” was finally released by Public Health England (PHE) on Tuesday after widespread criticism of its delay.

The government-led inquiry found that black people were most likely to be diagnosed with Covid-19, during a pandemic that has claimed almost 40,000 lives in Britain since February, according to the latest official figures.

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People of Bangladeshi background face the greatest risk of dying from the virus – double that of white Britons, according to the PHE review.

People who are ethnically classed as Chinese, Pakistani, Indian, “other Asian,” Caribbean or “other black” also encounter much worse health outcomes when it comes to Covid-19, according to the review. The risk of dying from the virus is between 10 percent and 50 percent higher than for white Britons.

The report found that the high death toll in black and Asian communities is a reversal of historic trends, in which white Britons were previously the ethnic group most likely to die from any cause.

The PHE review – commissioned by Health Secretary Matt Hancock – was due for release “by the end of May” and was then delayed until Wednesday, although it has now been published.

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Reports of yet another delay left many people online outraged that Prime Minister Boris Johnson appeared to be holding back the release of crucial research relating to the BAME community.

Gary Younge, a black professor of Sociology at Manchester University and former Guardian journalist, mocked the prospect of a further delay, tweeting: “It’s as though they think we won’t notice we’re dying in disproportionate numbers if they don’t tell us.”

Lewis Iwu, a British CEO of the Purpose Union social enterprise, also took a swipe at the government, saying they shouldn’t “hide/delay inconvenient reports on race” for fear that people will react with “anger and demand change.”

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