People from ethnic minority groups are dying in disproportionately high numbers from Covid-19 compared with white people, an analysis by the Guardian has found.
The analysis found that of the 12,593 patients who died in hospital up to 19 April, 19 per cent were Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME), despite these groups accounting for only 15 per cent of the UK population.
The analysis also looked at Office for National Statistics data that breaks down deaths up to 3 April by local authority, and found that a high proportion of BAME residents was the strongest predictor of a high Covid-19 death rate.
It is not clear why ethnic minorities are dying at higher rates than white people, but experts believe it is linked to levels of social deprivation.
Dr Zubaida Haque, deputy director of the Runnymede Trust, called on the government to recognise racial inequalities as a Covid-19 risk factor and address the “disproportionate rates of poverty, insecure and low-paid labour, which was often also undertaken by keyworkers, plus poorer conditions and overcrowded housing – all of which were putting ethnic minorities much more at risk of Covid-19 infection”.
“There’s no question any more about whether BAME people are bearing the brunt of Covid-19; they clearly are. The question is whether the government view these racial inequalities as a serious enough problem to do something about it,” she said.