More than 16% of coronavirus victims in England from ethnic minority communities

More than 16% of people who had tested positive for coronavirus when they died were from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, new data reveals.

On Monday, NHS England released data showing the ethnic breakdown of people who have died with coronavirus for the first time.

Figures from NHS England, using data up to 5pm on April 17, show that of 13,918 patients in hospitals in England who had tested positive for Covid-19 at time of death, 73.6% were of white ethnicity, 16.2% were of BAME ethnicity and 0.7% had mixed ethnicity.

The remaining 9.5% had no stated or identifiable ethnicity.

The statistics come days after a review was announced to examine what appears to be a disproportionate number of BAME people who have been affected by Covid-19.

According to the 2011 census, black and Asian people make up 10.8% of the UK population, meaning a greater proportion of deaths are coming from BAME groups.

More than 16% of coronavirus victims in England are from BAME communities. Credit: PA

The 16.2% figure for BAME ethnicity breaks down as:

  • Indian 3.0%

  • Pakistani 2.1%

  • Bangladeshi 0.6%

  • Any other Asian background 1.6%

  • Caribbean 2.9%

  • African 1.9%

  • Any other black background 0.9%

  • Chinese 0.4%

  • Any other ethnic group 2.8%.

Previously, it has been announced that a formal review into why people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds appear to be disproportionately affected by coronavirus will take place.

On the review, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "We have seen, both across the population as a whole but in those who work in the NHS, a much higher proportion who've died from minority backgrounds and that really worries me.

"I pay tribute to the work they've done, including those who were born here, moved here, and given that service to the NHS.

"It's a really important thing that we must try to fully understand."

Doctors have said preexisting inequalities in health and healthcare and may be a reason why more ethnic minorities seem to be affected.

Dr David Bailey, from The British Medical Association, said the difference in the number of BAME doctors being affected is “stark” and called for an investigation.

He said: “We absolutely need to know that because we need to be able to advise our members whether or not they need to treat themselves differently in terms of their risk profiles.”

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