Data shows higher Covid-19 risk to BAME people

Calculations by the Office for National Statistics could have serious implications for Reading's diverse population.
Couple hug in grief

Reading’s Black and Ethnic Minority (BAME) community could be more at risk from Covid-19, after national figures showed a higher risk of dying from the infection among BAME groups, compared with White people.

After taking into account age, health problems and social issues, statisticians showed that black men and women are 1.9 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than White people. Bangladeshi and Pakistani men are 1.8 times more likely to die, while women in these groups are 1.6 times more likely.

People in Chinese and Mixed ethnic groups have similar risks to those with White ethnicity.

Reading has a diverse population which includes people of Asian or Black ethnicity.

Reading’s ethnic diversity

Asian/Asian British: 21,161 people  (13.6% of Reading’s total population)

Black/African/Caribbean/Black British: 10,470  (6.7%)  

Mixed/multiple ethnic groups: 6,180  (4%)      

Other ethnic group: 1,500  (1%)   

White: 116,387  (74.8%)

Two days before the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published the ethnicity analysis, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced he had ordered studies into what characteristics made people more likely to be affected by coronavirus.

“As part of our continued effort to understand even more about COVID-19, we have commissioned work from Public Health England to consider the impact of various factors such as ethnicity, obesity, age, gender and geographical location and how these may have an impact on someone’s susceptibility to the virus.

“The more we know about this virus and its impact, the more we will be able protect lives and limit the spread.”

Other figures out show 10 more people have sadly passed away with Covid-19 in Reading care homes in a week, bringing the total to 44.

Care home figures are published weekly by the Office for National Statistics and are based on information given via mandatory care home reports to the Care Quality Commission.  Latest data came out on 5 May 2020 and covered deaths that occurred up to 24 April, and that were notified up to 1 May 2020.

Across all Berkshire boroughs, Reading again has the highest number of care home deaths, followed by Windsor and Maidenhead (39), Wokingham (38), West Berkshire (33), Slough (6) and Bracknell Forest (1).

In the past week, 16 more people have also sadly died at hospitals run by Royal Berkshire NHS Trust and Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust, according to daily NHS England figures.

The Royal Berkshire told NHS England that 150 people had died as of 6 May, up from 136 on 30 April. Berkshire Healthcare’s total had increased by two, to 12, during the same time period.

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