Coronavirus Killing Black Britons at Twice the Rate of Whites- NYT


According to an analysis conducted by Britain’s Office of National Statistics, black people in England and Wales are twice as likely to die from the coronavirus as white people.

The analysis, “found that longstanding differences in wealth, education, living arrangements and self-reported health could explain a portion of the outsized impact of the virus on racial and ethnic minorities.”

Experts say that black and South Asian people constitute a major proportion of people working in public-facing jobs and are “living with conditions that increase vulnerability to the coronavirus, like obesity, hypertension and diabetes, may account for other parts of the elevated risk.”

Likewise, Institute of Health Equity at University College London highlighted that austerity measures by Conservative governments in the past have led to expanding health inequality among these groups.

In Britain, more than 30,000 people have died from the virus. These groups also constitute a large number of frontline workers as the NYT report notes, “Responding to the deaths of a number of black, Asian and ethnic minority doctors, the National Health Service issued guidelines telling hospitals to assess the vulnerability of front-line workers and potentially reassign some to other jobs.”

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Bangladeshi and Pakistani ethnicities were nearly twice as likely to die from the coronavirus as white people while people of Indian origin also have heightened risk of dying from the virus. “The only group with a lower risk of death than their white counterparts, accounting for socio-economic differences, was Chinese women”, says the report.

A number of factors responsible for this divide are crowding in households, urban-rural divides, income and education. According to the English Housing Survey, “Nearly a third of Bangladeshi households, a sixth of Pakistani households and an eighth of black households experienced overcrowding from 2014 to 2017. Only 2 percent of white British households experienced the same” 

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