Covid-19: Why Are So Many Bame Patients Dying From The Disease?

BBC Focus - Science & Technology|Summer 2020

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Covid-19: Why Are So Many Bame Patients Dying From The Disease?
Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups are dying from COVID-19 at disproportionate rates. What’s the story behind the statistics?
Juanita Bawagan
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a global impact, but its effects have hit some groups harder than others.

In the United Kingdom, more than 40,000 people have so far died from COVID-19, with people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities disproportionately affected.

A report published on 19 June by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that black men are more than three times as likely to die from COVID-19 than white men, while black women are almost 2.5 times as likely to die than white women. People of Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Indian ethnicity are also significantly more likely to die from COVID-19 than white people.

A Public Health England report published on 2 June found that people from BAME backgrounds are also more likely to become infected with the coronavirus in the first place. For example, black ethnic groups are around two to three times more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 than white groups.

Similar patterns have been recorded within BAME communities in the US, particularly among African Americans.

“The pandemic has really exposed the vulnerability of certain communities because of the way in which people live and the way in which societies engage,” says Dr Clyde Yancy, professor of cardiology and medical social sciences at Northwestern University, in the US.


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Summer 2020