Coronavirus: Black Britons die at three times rate of whites in UK Covid-19 outbreak

Mortality rate in poorest districts was 55 per 100,000, double the fatalities in affluent areas

Adil el Tayar, an organ transplant consultant who died in the English Midlands
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Ethnic minority groups in Britain have suffering a disproportionately high number of deaths from coronavirus, a new study has found.

People from the Black African ethnic group are dying at three times the rate of the White British population, the Institute for Fiscal studies found. It also found that other ethnic groups, including Britain’s Arab population, have similar deaths rates.

The report has gathered evidence from all hospital deaths from Covid 19 and come up with startling statistics. “The COVID-19 pandemic has affected some sections of the population more than others, and there are growing concerns that the UK’s minority ethnic groups are being disproportionately affected,” it said.

The report, titled 'Are some ethnic groups more vulnerable to COVID-19 than others?'

was done after Public Health England launched an inquiry when it found minority groups were over-represented in Covid 19 deaths and infection.

The key findings revealed that the virus’ impact was not uniform across ethnic groups and lumping all minorities together missed important differences.

The study, understood to be the first of its kind, found that after stripping out the role of age and geography, Bangladeshi hospital fatalities were twice those of the white British group, Pakistani deaths were 2.9 times as high and Black African deaths 3.7 times as high.

The Indian, black Caribbean and ‘other white’ ethnic groups also had excess fatalities while the white Irish group had fewer fatalities than white British.

By contrast people of Chinese ethnicity had considerably lower death rate than the average. “The Chinese and mixed ethnicity groups have recorded far fewer hospital deaths per capita,” the paper stated.

China was the first county to be infected. Its total number of infections has remained at just over 80,000 since early March. The report was not linked to any biological or genetic findings, the IFS said.

Ross Warwick, one of the report’s authors, said: “The number of deaths looks disproportionate in most ethnic minority groups. There is unlikely to be a single explanation here and different factors may be more important for different groups.”

Part of the explanation for the high ethnic death rate is that some ethnic groups are more economically vulnerable, live in major cities and many work in the health sector in close contact with infected people.

However most minorities are also younger on average than the population as a whole, “which should make them less vulnerable”, the report said.

The IFS report comes as the Office for National Statistics found that people in deprived areas were suffering twice as high a death rate as those in the richest areas of Britain.

The data published today shows the Covid-19 mortality rate in the poorest districts was 55 per 100,000 people contrasted with just 25 per 100,000 in least deprived areas.

The IFS report concluded: “Some minority groups have already been disproportionately exposed to risk of infection, and the ongoing sector shutdown also has implications for ethnic inequalities. There is no single narrative that can describe or account for the impact of the current crisis on all minority groups.”