It is a fact that African Americans have more underlying medical issues, less access to health care and are more likely to work in unstable jobs. Now, data has revealed that black and brown communities across US are more likely to die from Coronavirus.

As per the recent reports, the number of infected people such these communities is alarming in Coronavirus hotspots like Chicago, New Orleans, Detroit and Milwaukee. Recently, Mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot said that more than half of Chicagoans who have died from the deadly Coronavirus are African Americans.

The Afro-American community are at higher risk

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Afro Americans (Representational picture) Jacqueline Gerson, Duke University

It should be mentioned that the Surgeon General Dr Jerome Adams said people of colour are at a higher risk of infected by the Novel Coronavirus. The disparity has been evident in early data on coronavirus deaths in Louisiana, Illinois, Michigan and New Jersey.

The Afro-Americans from the Chicago region accounted for 72 percent of deaths from the Coronavirus complications and 52 per cent of positive tests for the coronavirus, mentioned the city's public health agency.

Many US states, including hardest-hit New York, are yet to release demographic data showing the Coronavirus' toll on different racial groups. But as per an op-ed published in The Atlantic by Ibram X Kendi, the director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University, Afro Americans are mostly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak that already killed above 12,000 people in the US.

Alarming revelation by researchers

As mentioned by Kendi, he had gone through the data released from The New York Times on the number of coronavirus cases per 1,000 people for every zip code in the Big Apple. He wrote:

"Queens zip code 11370 has the city's highest rate of confirmed infections, with 12 cases per 1,000 people; the neighbourhoods it includes are 37 per cent Latino, 25 per cent white, 22 per cent Asian, and 14 per cent black.

"In the adjacent zip code of 11369, which has the city's second-highest rate of confirmed infections with 10 cases per 1,000 people, the population is 64 per cent Latino, 15 per cent black, 12 per cent Asian, and 8 per cent white."

Here it should be mentioned that census data revealed that there ate 32.1 percent white people living in New York City, while Latino, Afro- American and Asian population is 29.1 percent, 24.3 percent and 13.9 percent respectively.

Coronavirus
Coronavirus Pixabay

Kendi mentioned that averaging out the racial composition of the five New York City zip codes with the highest COVID-19 rates showed a significant over-representation of "Latinos 45.8 per cent and Asians 23.4 per cent, and a significant under-representation of whites 21.2 per cent and blacks 8 per cent when compared with their citywide populations."

While the CDC did not publish any data based on the races, it will be hard to evaluate the actual scenario. Dr Jeffrey Levi, a professor of public health at The George Washington University said that since the authorities don't have broad access to testing, it is difficult to tell how many people are infected in the US.

However, the World Health Organization earlier said that people with underlying health conditions such as asthma and other chronic lung disorders, diabetes and heart disease appear to develop serious illness more often than others. It makes the Coronavirus particularly dangerous for African Americans, who due to environmental and economic factors have higher rates of such illnesses, said Dr Summer Johnson McGee, Dean of the School of Health Sciences at the University of New Haven.

Dr McGee, it is not surprising that people with colour are experiencing a worse outcome during the Coronavirus pandemic and explained that racism issues have led to a lack of investment in African American communities and worse health care for the population in general. She added that this COVID 19 pandemic "just magnifies the disparities in healthcare that many communities of colour face."