People from ethnic minority groups in Britain are up to twice as likely to die after being infected with coronavirus as members of the white majority, a government report said on Tuesday.
Allowing for demographic differences in age, class, income, and region, “people of Bangladeshi ethnicity had around twice the risk of death,” Public Health England reported.
The agency said that the death rate was up to 50 per cent higher for “people of Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, other Asian, Caribbean, and other black ethnicity” compared with white British people.
The British Medical Association (BMA), a trade union for doctors, said the report did not offer any insights into which actions could be taken to protect ethnic minorities and “missed the opportunity for looking at occupational factors.”
The health researchers were “not able to include the effect of occupation” in their analysis.
Many of the nearly 200 British health staff who have died after coronavirus infections were from ethnic minorities.
“It is a statistical analysis, which while important, gets us no closer towards taking action that avoids harm to BAME communities,” said Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the BMA council.
BAME is an acronym used by the British government and other organisations for Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic people.
“More specifically, the report fails to mention the staggering higher proportion of BAME healthcare workers who have tragically died from COVID-19 – with more than 90 per cent of doctors being from BAME backgrounds,” Nagpaul said.
“Families are living in fear… The government must take urgent action to protect at-risk groups,” tweeted Labour’s David Lammy, one of Britain’s most prominent black politicians. (dpa/NAN