Speaking of the government’s plans to ease the lockdown from next week, Ms Grant added: “It’s especially scary as this country is about to open up again.”

David Lammy, shadow justice secretary, said the figures showing black people were at greater risk of death from Covid were “appalling”.

He tweeted: “It is urgent the causes of this disproportionality are investigated. Action must be taken to protect black men and women – as well as people from all backgrounds – from the virus.”

The ONS also found that some ethnic groups are at higher risk of dying from Covid-19, and suggest that a mix of factors – such as socio economic, issues of comorbidities and the number of Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) workers in frontline jobs – may be relevant. However, researchers stressed that a definitive answer as to why remains unclear.

After taking account of age and other socio-demographic characteristics and measures of self-reported health and disability at the 2011 Census, the risk of a Covid-19-related death for black men and women of black fell to 1.9 times more likely than those of white ethnicity.

The ONS analysis also suggests that, accounting for age, males of Bangladeshi/Pakistani ethnicity are 3.6 times more likely to die from a Covid-19-related death than white males, while the equivalent figure for Bangladeshi/Pakistani females is 3.4.

Males of Indian ethnicity are 2.4 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than white males. The figure for females of Indian ethnicity is slightly higher, at 2.7.

For the Chinese ethnic group, the ONS found a raised risk among males but not females. Males are 1.9 times more likely to die from Covid-19, while the figure for females is 1.2.

The overall results show that the difference between ethnic groups in Covid-19 mortality is partly a result of socio-economic disadvantage and other circumstances, but a remaining part of the difference has not yet been explained.

The ONS said: “This means that a substantial part of the difference in Covid-19 mortality between ethnic groups is explained by the different circumstances in which members of those groups are known to live, such as areas with socio-economic deprivation. 

“Geographic and socio-economic factors were accounting for over half of the difference in risk between males and females of Black and White ethnicity. However, these factors do not explain all of the difference, suggesting that other causes are still to be identified.”

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