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BAME people are ‘FOUR TIMES more likely to have Covid-19’

Black and Asian British are up to four times more likely to have already fought the coronavirus, official data suggested today.

A government-run surveillance system, Covid-19, which tested 36,000 people across England, revealed that 4.5 percent of whites had developed antibodies – substances made by the immune system in response to specific pathogens.

In comparison, the rate was 12.2 percent for Asian British, 7.7 percent for black people, and as much as 16.7 percent for other ethnic groups, according to the report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Swab test results – which indicate whether someone is currently infected and not if they have had it in the past – showed a similar discrepancy between ethnicity, with between 0.64 and 0.69 percent of black and Asian people ever positive tested for the coronavirus.

Only 0.30 percent of white people were obliterated between April 26 and June 27, tested positive for the disease, which has killed 55,000 Britons since the February outbreak got out of hand.

The results also showed that the risk was nine times higher (2.69 percent) for people of other ethnicities, including Arabs.

The ONS report also revealed that only 33 percent of people had any of the telltale Covid-19 symptoms, cough, fever, or loss of taste and smell, the day they received their test results.

Statisticians warn today that the findings do not prove with certainty that people with a BAME background are at greater risk of becoming infected.

But they add to a mountain of evidence that people with a BAME background are more likely to catch Covid-19 and become seriously ill or die from it than whites.


Experts say it is unlikely that there is a single reason why ethnic minorities are more likely to become seriously ill or die from the virus.

People with an ethnic minority background make up a large part of the NHS workforce.

As a result, they are more often exposed to larger amounts of the virus because they come into contact with critically ill patients.

Having a high viral load – the number of particles in the virus that someone is first infected with – gives the bug a ‘jump start,’ scientists say.

Members of ethnic minority communities are twice as likely to experience poverty and are often hardest hit by chronic diseases.

Those living in poverty smoke and drink more alcohol and are more likely to be obese, all of which increase the risk of chronic health problems.

Patients with pre-existing health problems struggle to fight COVID-19 before causing deadly complications such as pneumonia.

People with a poorer background also use public transport more often and live in crowded houses, which increases their chance of catching and spreading the virus.

They may also be more at risk because of their profession, according to Shaomeng Jia, a professor of economics at Alabama State University’s College of Business Administration.

Those who work in retail, grocery, and construction – who can’t work from home – were still mingling and risking infection even as the outbreak peaked, she said.

Scientists have yet to pinpoint exactly why minority groups are at greater risk, which health chefs last month claimed could be partially blamed for “ historical racism. ”

But they say it can be partly explained by the fact that the minority groups are more likely to live in deprived neighborhoods, work in low-paying jobs or use public transport, where they interact with more potential carriers of the disease.

However, scientists say this can’t explain the whole story, and that increased rates of vitamin D deficiency among minorities are also being investigated as a possible risk factor.

The US wrote, “It is too early to say whether the infection rates of Covid-19 differ between ethnic groups because the number of people who test positive in groups other than the white ethnic group is very small.

“Although antibody test results indicate that individuals who identify as white have had Covid-19 less often in the past than non-white ethnic groups.”

It added that most of the tests were done in May, when the disease was “highly concentrated” in London and other urban areas, where the population of BAME is more common there.

The US gave a wide range around the estimates because they were based on small samples, meaning the actual rate could be much higher or much lower.

For example, nearly 33,000 of the people tested were white. Only six of the 944 Asians who were obliterated had Covid-19 and only two of the 288 Black Britons had the disease.

The results also showed no difference in Covid-19 infection rates between genders or ages, suggesting that everyone is essentially at the same risk of being knocked down.

However, data showed that people who had to leave their homes to go to work were almost four times more likely to become infected with the virus, known scientifically as SARS-CoV-2.

Only 0.15 percent of people in England who were able to work from home during the peak of the outbreak tested positive. For comparison, the rate was 0.56 percent for people who didn’t.

“Elementary occupations” – such as cleaners, workers, and shelf fillers – had the greatest risk, with 1 percent of these workers testing positive.

About 0.82 percent of process, plant and machine operators tested positive, followed by 0.79 percent of attendants and 0.65 percent of sales and customer service workers.

The ONS report also revealed a huge discrepancy in infection rates between NHS and rescuers compared to the general population.

Only 0.27 percent of non-health workers rubbed positive for Covid-19. But the rate was six times higher (1.58 percent) among doctors and caregivers.


Historical racism and hostility to immigrants may be partly to blame for Black, Asian, and Ethnic Minorities (BAME) more likely to die of Covid-19, officials said last month.

Public Health England (PHE) published the long-awaited second part of its report on how the coronavirus has hit BAME communities harder.

It said that “hostile environments” may have influenced BAME communities against immigrant communities through “heightened prejudice” and “social tensions” – but did not explain how this directly increased the risk of Covid-19.

The report also claimed that a lack of confidence in the NHS may have made some BAME groups reluctant to seek help early, potentially making their disease more difficult to treat. Some people were “afraid of being deported” when they presented themselves to the hospital.

And it claimed that BAME NHS staff are less likely to speak if they are concerned about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or their risk.

The report – based on discussions with 4,000 people – noted that historical racism has led to non-white communities generally being poorer and thus in poorer health, putting them at greater risk if they catch Covid-19.

Immigrant people – especially those with a black, Bengali or Pakistani background – have had lower paid jobs for decades, which means they have less money to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Inadequate personal protective equipment, inadequate testing to curb outbreaks, inadequate separation of patients, and staff who do not take social distance may all have been left behind in NHS environments, experts say.

Data also showed that the infection rate is lower in one- and two-person households, which experts say is likely because they come into contact with fewer people, reducing the risk of infection.

The ONS report also revealed that only 33 percent of people had any of the telltale Covid-19 symptoms, cough, fever, or loss of taste and smell, the day they received their test results.

The ONS report isn’t the first to discover that Brits with BAME backgrounds are twice as likely to become infected with Covid-19.

Researchers at the University of Oxford last week revealed 14.7 percent of NHS workers with an ethnic minority background who tested positive for the disease, compared to just 8.7 percent who were white.

It comes after a government survey last month confirmed that black, Asian and ethnic minorities (BAME) are more likely to die from Covid-19.

The Public Health England (PHE) report revealed that Britons of Bangladeshi ethnicity had about twice the risk of white Britons dying with the coronavirus.

And it showed that black people, as well as those from Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, other Asian or Caribbean backgrounds, had a 10 to 50 percent higher risk of death.

The analysis did not take into account higher rates of long-term health problems in these people, which experts say likely explain some of the differences.

The evidence collected in the report also found that age is the biggest risk factor determining how likely people with the virus are to die – people over 80 are 70 times more likely to be killed than under 40.


No excessive deaths have been recorded in England and Wales for the second week in a row, as the Covid-19 crisis is still fading for the time being.

Government statistics show that 8,979 all-cause deaths were recorded during the seven-day period ending June 26 – 3.4 percent less than average.

Coronavirus has likely brought forward some deaths of older and vulnerable people, which could cause a period of below-average deaths, statisticians said.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also showed that the death toll from Covid-19 has decreased in every region of England and Wales, except the Northeast.

During the outbreak, over 55,000 deaths with Covid-19 were recorded in the UK, with the virus being the main reason for deaths higher than would normally be expected for this period.

The elderly and people with pre-existing health problems have been most affected by the pandemic, which got out of hand in February.