‘Deeply worrying’ ONS data highlights need to protect BAME communities from Covid-19, warns BMA

by BMA media team

Press release from the BMA.

Location: England Wales
Published: Thursday 7 May 2020

Responding to the latest Office of National Statistics data on Covid-19 related deaths by ethnic group, which shows that Black men and women are four times more likely to die from the virus, BMA council chair, Dr Chaand Nagpaul said:

“These latest statistics are further evidence of the shockingly disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, particularly for Black men and women who are over four times more likely to die than white people. These figures add to the alarming trend among healthcare workers in which more than 90% of doctors who have died have come from a BAME background.

“This is deeply worrying and highlights the importance of ensuring that urgent action is taken to protect members of the BAME community, those working on the front line, key workers, and indeed the wider community.

“We have always said there are likely to be multiple factors behind this and as this analysis suggests, social and economic reasons play a substantial part. We know that BAME people are more likely to experience deprivation and live in overcrowded housing, which impacts their health, and that a greater number are in key worker roles, which lessens the chance of being able to socially distance.

“While this analysis highlights the much broader issue of inequalities in our society, there is still an unexplained part of the difference in mortality rates that needs more detailed investigation.

“Crucially, it is important that people from BAME communities working in healthcare and key worker roles have the adequate protection they need and are effectively risk assessed. The need to protect those from BAME communities is also an important consideration as the Government looks to ease the lockdown.”



Notes to editors

The BMA is a trade union and professional association representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.

1. See the Office of National Statistics data on deaths by ethnic groups for England and Wales.

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