Black men and women in the U.K. are four times more likely to die from COVID-19 than white people, according to new data looking at the ethnicity of those who have succumbed to the disease.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS), the U.K’s largest independent producer of official statistics, said that Black men are 4.2 times more likely to die from coronavirus than their white counterparts, and black women 4.3 times more likely, when age is taken into account.
People from Bangladeshi and Pakistani, Indian, and mixed ethnicities were also found to be significantly more likely to die from coronavirus than their white counterparts.
The data from the ONS found that the risk of death for people from a Pakistani background was 3.29 times higher, 2.41 times higher for those from a Bangladeshi background and 2.21 times higher for those from a black Caribbean background. The rate among those from an Indian background was 1.7 times higher.
The ONS report looking into COVID-19 related deaths by ethnic group in England and Wales between March 2 and April 10, states: “This provisional analysis has shown that the risk of death involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) among some ethnic groups is significantly higher than that of those of White ethnicity.
The Office for National Statistic says data shows black people are four times more likely to die from COVID-19 than white people”When taking into account age in the analysis, 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 White ethnicity males and females.
“People of Bangladeshi and Pakistani, Indian, and Mixed ethnicities also had statistically significant raised risk of death involving COVID-19 compared with those of White ethnicity.
“These results show that the difference between ethnic groups in COVID-19 mortality is partly a result of socio-economic disadvantage and other circumstances, but a remaining part of the difference has not yet been explained.”
Helen Board, Acting Director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a U.K. based charity that aims to solve poverty, said: “Today’s figures are a stark reminder that although we are all weathering the same storm, we are not all in the same boat.
“People from black and minority ethnic backgrounds are more likely to live in deprived areas, employed in low-paid jobs where they cannot work from home. We know that both these factors increase the risk of catching coronavirus.
“Workers from BAME communities are also more likely to live in overcrowded homes, increasing the risk for their families too. We entered the crisis with millions of people locked in poverty, struggling against a rising tide of low pay, insecure jobs and spiralling living costs.
“With the Bank of England now forecasting the deepest recession on record, we must ask ourselves what kind of society we want to live in after the virus passes. It doesn’t have to be like this – as a society that prides itself on justice and compassion we can and must do better.”