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24 April 2020updated 04 Sep 2021 6:38pm

Covid-19 crisis disproportionately affecting disabled people, ONS survey finds

By Michael Goodier

Disabled people are far more likely to be suffering anxiety or loneliness because of the coronavirus crisis, new figures have revealed.

A third (35 per cent) of disabled people reported that they were spending too much time alone, compared to around a fifth (20 per cent) of non-disabled adults. Twice as many disabled adults (8 per cent) reported “often” or “always” feeling lonely in the last week compared to non-disabled adults (4 per cent).

The survey – published by the Office for National Statistics and covering the fortnight to April 13 – highlights the negative effects that increased levels of self-isolation are having among Britain’s disabled population, and shows how disabled people have been affected to a greater degree. Some 53 per cent reported having self-isolated because of coronavirus, compared to 32 per cent of non-disabled people.

Iain Bell, deputy national statistician at the ONS said: “It’s vital to understand the needs of everyone in our society as people’s experience in this pandemic will differ. “Our analysis gives insight into the experience of disabled adults, and where there might be issues that arise for some that differ from those of non-disabled people. We recognise these findings summarise the perspective of disabled adults, covering a broad and complex range of conditions. Everyone’s experience is different.”

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