Black and South Asian ethnic groups are up to four times more likely to die from COVID-19 compared to whites, according to data from the Office of National Statistics and the National Health Service.
A study of COVID-19 patients who were admitted to five hospitals in East London between January and May 2020 found that patients from Black, Asian and other minority ethnic backgrounds were significantly younger and less frail when they were admitted to hospital than white patients.
Black patients were 30% and Asian patients 49% more likely to die within 30 days of hospital admission compared to patients from white backgrounds of a similar age and baseline health.
Black patients were also 80% and Asian patients 54% more likely to be admitted to intensive care and need invasive mechanical ventilation.
The study authors Dr Yize Wan and Dr Venessa Apea said: “The risk factors associated with worse underlying health status are likely to be linked with wider social factors such as poor living conditions, being employed as a key worker and even language barriers that may get in the way of people adopting preventative measures to avoid getting sick. Structural racism also plays a role in generating and reinforcing inequities and must be acknowledged and addressed…
“As the impact of COVID-19 persists, we continue to see significant numbers of Black, Asian, and minority ethnic patients admitted to our hospitals. The aftermath of this is yet to seen in its entirety as, in addition to the high rates of premature death suffered among these population groups, these frequently working-age patients will often leave hospital with long-term chronic health conditions, returning home with a greatly reduced quality of life. We must respond now to the ethnic disparities that have been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic if we want to prevent them being inflicted on future generations.”
The news comes as research from King’s College London has found that about one in six people say they would either “definitely not” get the vaccine against COVID-19, or that they were “not very likely” or “not at all likely” to do so.
A further 1,725 coronavirus deaths were reported in the UK yesterday – the second highest daily figure in the country since the pandemic began.
A total of 101,887 people have now died in the UK within 28 days of a positive COVID test since the start of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, a further 311,060 people were confirmed to have had their first vaccine dose on Wednesday, while another 1,710 people were reported as having had their second dose.
The latest figures mean a total of 7,164,387 have had their first inoculation, while 474,156 people have had both jabs.