Blacks and Asians infected by coronavirus likely to die 2 to 3 times more than others: Study

  • Research using NHS data revealed that ethnic minorities are at a greater risk of dying due to coronavirus

  • Socio-economic inequalities to blame says experts

Research has found that blacks, Asians and Ethnic Minorities were two to three times more likely to die from the coronavirus disease in comparison with the general population.

The study, specific to England, was made by University College London (UCL) using the data from the National Health Service (NHS) was published by Wellcome Open Research.

Instead of being an equalizer, the study showed that mortality related to novel coronavirus is "disproportionately higher in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups," said Dr. Delan Devakumar, a co-author of the study. Thus it is important to tackle the existing socio-economic risks which act as barriers to healthcare access leading to "unjust deaths," he added, reported TIME.

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The NHS data of 16,272 patients died of coronavirus infection in hospitals of England between March 1 and April 21 was used to come to this conclusion. "We believe there is an urgent need to take action to reduce the risk of death for BAME [Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic] groups and better understand why some ethnic groups experience greater risk, " concluded the study that is undergoing peer review.


Actions in reducing inequities such as ensuring necessary income protection such that low paid and zero-hours contract workers shall also afford to follow distancing measures along with ensuring proper personal protective equipment (PPE), recommend researchers after the analysis. Added to which, culturally and linguistically appropriate health communications must be made.

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The risk of coronavirus death is 3.24 times higher for Black Africans compared to normal population, while the number is 2.41 for Bangladeshis and 2.21 in case of Black Caribbeans and 1.7 for Indians.

Indians among minorities saw huge deaths

Indians being the largest "single ethnic minority group" of Britain saw largest number of ethnic group deaths, with 492 deaths among 16,272 cases. White British population faced 12 percent lower risk of death than the general population.

Socio-economic inequalities to blame

The results are similar in countries where there are lower COVID-19 death rates. Experts say that existing socio-economic inequalities are to blame. The same marginalized communities are exposed to pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes and heart problems that make them more prone to die of novel coronavirus attack.

This came after UK's coronavirus death toll was recorded as highest in Europe, while being second highest globally, now with 201,101 confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 30,070 deaths.

Related topics : Coronavirus